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R=19710004655 2018-06-26T19:41:06+00:00Z




MAY 1970



NASA experience has indicated a need for uniform criteria for the design of space
vehicles. Accordingly, criteria are being developed in the following areas of technology:

Guidance and Control
Chemical Propulsion

Individual components of this work will be issued as separate monographs as soon as

they are completed. A list of all previously issued monographs in this series can be
found at the end of this document.

These monographs are to be regarded as guides to design and not as NASA

requirements, except as may be specified in formal project specifications. It is
expected, however, thai the criteria sections of these documents, revised as experience
may indicate to be desirable, eventually will become uniform design requirements for
NASA space vehicles.

This monograph was prepared under the cognizance of the Langley Research Center.
The Task Manager was W. C. Thornton. The author was C. F. Tiffany of The Boeing
Company. A number of other individuals assisted in developing the material and
reviewing the drafts. In particular, the significant contributions made by C. P. Berry
and R.A. Rawe of McDonnell Douglas Corporation; D.W. Hoeppner of
Lockheed-California Company; R. L. Johnston of NASA Manned Spacecraft Center;
G. F. Kappelt of Bell Aerosystems Company; J. M. Krafft of the U. S. Naval Research
Laboratory; G. T. Smith of Lewis Research Center; H. G. McComb, Jr., of Langley
of Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation; J.C. Lewis of Jet Propulsion
Laboratory; G. T. Smith of Lewis Research Center; H. G. McComb, Jr. of Langley
Research Center; and C. D. Crockett of NASA George C. Marshall Space Flight Center
are hereby acknowledged.

May 1970
For sale by the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, Virginia 22151 -- P._ice $3.05

I. INTRODUCTION .................... 1

2. STATE OF THE ART .................. 3

2.1 Critical Flaw Sizes .................. 5

2.2 Initial Flaw Size .................. 10
2.2.1 Nondestructive Inspection ............ 10
2.2.2 Proof Test .................. 12 Effect of Applied Stress Levels ....... 13 Effect of Wall Thickness ......... 14 Effect of Proof-Test Temperature ...... 14 Effect of Test Fluids .......... 14 Effect of Test Duration and
Pressurization/Depressurization Rate ..... 16 Effect of Multiple Proof Tests ....... 16 Need for Postproof-Test Inspection ..... 17 Need for Combined-Load Proof Tests .... 17
2.3 Subcritical Flaw Growth ............... 18
2.3.1 Sustained-Stress Flaw Growth ........... 19
2.3.2 Combined Cyclic and Sustained-Stress
Flaw Growth ................. 23

3. CRITERIA ...................... 25

3.1 Design Conditions .................. 25

3.2 Materials ..................... 26
3.3 Critical Flaw Sizes .................. 27
3.4 Initial Flaw Size .................. 27
3.5 Allowable Stress-Intensity Ratio ............. 27
3.6 Proof Test .................... 28

PRACTICES................ 28

4.1 DesignConditions .................... 29

4.2 Materials......................... 30
4.3 CriticalFlawSizes .................... 32
4.4 Initial FlawSize ..................... 34
4.5 AllowableStress-Intensity Ratio ............... 35
4.6 ProofTest ....................... 36

APPENDIXA DesignTrade IllustrativeExample ........ 39

APPENDIXB AllowableStress-Intensity Ratio-

IllustrativeExamples .............. 43

B.I Thick-WalledPressure
Vessel ......... 43
B.2 Thin-WalledPressure
Vessel ......... 46

REFERENCES ......................... 51

SYMBOLS ........................... 55

MONOGRAPHSISSUEDTO DATE ................. 57



Pressure vessels often contain small flaws or defects that are inherent in the materials
or introduced during a fabrication process. These defects can, in many cases, cause
severe reduction in the load-carrying capability and the operational life of pressure
vessels. If the flaws are large in comparison to those causing failure at the
proof-pressure stress levels, failure of the vessels will occur during initial pressurization.
If the initial flaws are small, the vessels may withstand several operational pressure
cycles and a number of hours of sustained-pressure loading before the flaws grow to a
size that will result in failure. From an economic standpoint, it is important to
minimize the possibility of failure of space vehicle pressure vessels during proof testing.
From the standpoint of economics and personnel safety, it is imperative to prevent
mission or operational failures.

During the past several years there have been costly proof-test failures directly
attributable to small, preexisting flaws. In one example, a large steel rocket motor case
failed at a stress less than 50 percent of the material yield strength. This failure
originated at a small internal flaw having a depth less than one fifth of the material
thickness. Other proof-test failures occurred in large propellant tanks and smaller
auxiliary tanks used in the Apollo program.

Other failures have occurred after proof testing during the preflight checkout and/or
storage of pressure vessels. One such failure occurred when a high-pressure helium tank,
used in a defensive missile system, ruptured after 21 hours of sustained pressurization.
This failure originated at an inclusion in the parent metal. The initial flaw increased
approximately 50 percent in size during the time the tank was pressurized, and failure
resulted. Although this is an example of failure resulting from flaw growth under
sustained stress in a relatively inert environment, many more failures have occurred in
which the environment played the dominant role. A number of titanium pressure
vessels failed in N2 04 and methanol environments, and high-strength steel vessels failed
in water environments. In these cases, the initial flaw sizes were often small (i.e., less
than 10 percent of the size required to cause failure) and could not have been detected
by nondestructive inspection. However, with the vessels at pressure for a time, the
environmentinduced significant amountsof stable flaw growth and the vessels
The purposeof this monographis to presentcriteriaandrecommendpracticesthat aid
in the designof metallic pressurevesselsby minimizingthe occurrenceof proof-test
failures resultingfrom cracks and assuringagainstpreflight and flight failures.The
criteria andrecommended practicespermit widelatitude in the selectionof materials
andoperationalstresslevels,detail design,analysis,andtest to allowminimizationof
weight and/or cost asmay be dictatedby specificvehicleandmissionrequirements.
This monographis applicableto metallic pressurevesselswhosedesignis primarily
controlledby internalpressurerequirements.Thesevesselsincludehigh-pressure gas
bottles, solid-propellantmotor cases,and storable and cryogenicliquid-propellant
tanks- both integral and removable.Criteria and recommendedpracticesfor the
design of pressurizedcabins, inflatable structures, and vesselsfabricated from
compositematerialswill bepresentedin othermonographsplannedfor this series.

To minimizeproof test and preventservicefailuresof metallic pressurevessels, the

three basicconsiderations are(1) the initial flaw sizes,(2) the critical flaw sizes(i.e.,
the sizesrequiredto causefracture at a givenstresslevel),and (3) the subcritical
flaw-growthcharacteristics. To preventproof-testfailures,the actualinitial flaw sizes
mustbe lessthan the critical flaw sizesat the proof-stress level.To guarantee that the
vesselwill not fail in service,it mustbe shownthat the largestpossibleinitial flaw in
the vesselcannotgrowto critical sizeduringthe requiredlife spanof the vessel.The
basicparametersaffectingcritical flaw sizesarethe appliedstresslevels,the material
fracture toughnessvalues,the pressure-vessel wall thickness,and the location and
orientation of flaws. The determinationof actualinitial flaw sizesis limited by the
capabilities of the availablenondestructiveinspectionprocedures;however,this
limitation can often be partially circumventedby usinginformationobtainedfrom a
successfulproof test. A proof test in which the vesseldoes not fail provides
information on the maximumpossibleinitial-to-criticalstress-intensity ratio within the
vesselwhich, in turn, allows the size of the maximumpossibleinitial flaw to be
estimated.Subcriticalflaw growthdependsonseveralfactorsincludingthestresslevel,
initial flaw size, environment,material,and pressure/timehistory of the particular
pressure vessel.

Becausemany factorsare involved,it is unlikely that the problem of premature

fractureof pressure
vesselswill becompletelyresolvedin the immediatefuture.During
the past10to 15years,however,significantprogress hasbeenmadein severaldifferent
areas(i.e., mechanics,metallurgy,inspection,etc.); accomplishments in the field of
fracturemechanicshavebeenparticularlysignificant.Linear-elastic fracturemechanics
hasprovideda basicframeworkandengineering languagefor describingthe fractureof
materialsunder static, cyclic, and sustained-stressloading,andis the basisfor the
criteriaandrecommended practicespresentedin this monograph.

The relatedproblemsof stresscorrosion,fatigue,anddiscontinuitiesin pressure-vessel
designwill not be treatedherein,but will be coveredin other monographsnow in


The problem of premature fracture of metallic structures is not new (e.g., the large
molasses tank failure in 1919, the methane storage tank failure in 1944, the 25-percent
failure rate of Liberty ships during World War II, and the Polaris motor case failures
during the 1950's). Even today there is a general lack of specific guides in industry and
government manuals, specifications, and codes for the control of fracture of metallic

pressure vessels. This results from the complexity and interdisciplinary nature of the
problem, the lengthy time required to develop and verify experimentally the technical
approaches, and the differing opinions on technical approach. The design of metallic
pressure vessels generally has been (and to some extent, is still) based on the following

1. The gross stress levels at the proof and operating conditions should be kept
below the yield strength of the material to prevent large-scale deformations.

The fracture strength will be greater than the yield strength and equal to or
greater than the minimum guaranteed ultimate tensile strength of the

Local yielding may occur around discontinuities, but the overall structural
integrity will be maintained by load relief and redistribution.

The factor of safety provides for uncertainties in stress analysis, fabrication,
and applied loads, and allows for possible degradation in strength with
service life.

Selection of factors of safety should be based primarily on experience, a
qualitative assessment of the uncertainties associated with a specific design,
and the reliability requirements.

= Sharp-edged flaws or defects will not be allowed and, if any occur, they will
be detected by nondestructive inspection and subsequently repaired.
Althoughmany apparentlysuccessful pressurevessels
the aboveprinciples,therehavebeenmany costly failuresat grossstresslevelswell
below the yield strength.In many of these cases,local yielding did not occur,
sharp-edged flawsweremissedby inspection,andthe pastexperiences
usedin selection
of the factorsof safetywerenot applicable.

Variousapproaches havebeensuggested for usein the control of prematurefracture.

In reference1,E. T. Wesselandhiscoworkerscompareandappraisea numberof these
approaches,primarily on the basisof their applicability to engineeringdesignand
materialevaluation.They classifythe approachesinto the two generalcategoriesof
transition temperatureand stressanalysis.The lack of an abrupt ductile-to-brittle
transitionin high-strengthsteel,aluminum,and titanium alloyscombinedwith a lack
of quantitativenesseliminated the transition temperature approachesfrom
consideration.The variousstressanalysisapproaches, basedon either stressor strain
criteria of fracture,had not been developedsufficiently, lackedquantitativeness, or
couldnot handlethe fracturecontrolproblemwith the desireddegreeof completeness.
It was concludedfrom this study that linear-elasticfracture mechanicswas the
approachbestsuitedto designapplication.The sameconclusionwasreachedby other
investigators, both beforeandafterthe study.

Theprimarylimitation of linear-elastic
fracturemechanicsto dateis that at stresslevels
abovethe yield strengthof the material,fracturecannotbe describedby the critical
stress-intensityparameter,Klc, and subcriticalflaw growthcannotbe describedasa
function of the crack-tip stress-intensityfactor, KI. From the standpoint of
application,this meansthat at stresslevelsabovethe yield strength,critical flaw size
andsubcriticalflaw-growthdatamustbeobtainedempiricallyovera rangeof flaw sizes
for the specificmaterialandthicknessof interest.Also,from the standpointof fracture
testing,it meansthat extremelythick test specimensare requiredto causefracture
prior to generalyieldingandthus obtain Kic valuesfor materialswith a highfracture
resistance(refs.2 and3). Anotherlimitation is the relativelysmallquantityof fracture
toughness andsubcriticalflaw-growthdatathat is generallyavailable.

A lessimportantlimitation of fracturemechanicsis that stress-intensity

describeaccuratelythe functional relationshipbetweenflaw sizeand stresslevelfor
variousflaw shapesandboundarystressconditions,arestill underdevelopment. Upon
completion,thesesolutionsshouldimprovethe accuracyof criticalflaw-sizeestimates
and pressure-vessel life predictions.However,at the presentstateof development,
fracture specimentest data and fracture mechanicsanalysiscanbe usedto predict
critical flaw sizesandfailure modes,to estimateminimumstructurallife, to establish
proof-test factors and proof-testingprocedures,to provide a basisfor establishing
nondestructiveinspectionflaw acceptancelimits, to comparecandidatematerials,to
assistin basicalloy development,to performfailureanalyses,andfinally (andperhaps
most importantly), to providea frameworkfor understandingthe interrelationships
betweenthe various factorsthat affect the flightworthinessand weight of metallic

2.1 Critical Flaw Sizes

Flaw types that often go undetected in metallic pressure vessels are the surface and
embedded flaws. The flaw size required to cause fracture at a given applied stress level
is called the critical size. If the vessel contains an initial flaw which exceeds the critical
size at the proof-stress level, catastrophic failure can be expected during proof testing.
Failure during service operation will occur when the initial flaw is less than the critical
size at the proof-stress level, but grows with service usage until it reaches the critical
size at the operating stress level. Pressure vessel leakage occurs when an initial flaw
grows through the thickness of the vessel wall prior to reaching critical size.

In elastic stress fields, the critical sizes for surface and internal flaws depend on the
plane-strain critical stress-intensity or fracture toughness values (Kic) of the vessel
materials, and the applied stress levels. If the critical flaw sizes are small with respect to
the wall thickness of the pressure vessel, the vessel is termed "thick walled." If the
critical sizes approach or exceed the wall thickness, the vessel is termed "thin walled."

The critical flaw sizes for surface flaws in uniformly stressed thick-walled vessels can be
calculated using the following expression:

1 (1)
(a/Q)cr- 1.21ir

For small internal flaws the same expression can be used except the 1.21 coefficient is
decreased to unity.

Figure l shows the relationship between the flaw-shape parameter, Q, and the flaw
depth-to-length ratio:figure 2 is a graphical representation of equation (1).

To predict critical flaw sizes (as well as failure modes and operational life) of
thin-walled pressure vessels, it is necessary to know the stress intensity for flaws that
become very deep with respect to the wall thickness. The stress-intensity solution
shown in equation (1) for the semielliptical surface flaw was derived by Irwin (ref. 4)
and was found to be reasonably accurate for flaw depths up to about 50 percent of the
material thickness. At greater depths, the applied stress intensity is magnified by the
effect of the free surface near the flaw tip. This means that in thin-walled vessels, the
flaw-tip stress intensity can attain the critical value (i.e., the Kic value) at a flaw size
significantly smaller than that which would be predicted using equation (1).

k 2_1_1
r _ ____.,2a

Surface flaw

o_" 1.0_

0.3 0.9_

0"8-'X k
v Y 0.5----_
G/a, s = 0.6---_
t- Q = q_2 _ 0.212 (o/O )2
0.2-- N"

(_ =f T;'2_! c2Yla 2 sin20d 0


0.7 0.8 1.0 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 2.0 2.2

Flaw-shape parameter, Q

I:;nlirD 1 -- FIm_-_h_nR nAramRtP.r ¢:.llrVA-q


_ _k Proof stress <'


Eb ll\ 1
/ : _ lKlil 1" 1 ''f'_ 0 up (a/O-) ` }_

• ; \_,c _2a_-<,Co_Or,_
I,, i I
' '%_ ---- -_,.= Operating stress

I ,% _--L_ -
I I _" Max KI

Vlax I (a/Q) i

(a/Q)i I
I (a/Q)cr
1 I ,
Flaw size, a/Q

Figure 2. - Applied stressvs critical flaw size.

....> •
Kobayashi and Smith developed approximate solutions for deep surface flaws that are
very long with respect to their depth (i.e.. small a/2c values) and for semicircular
surface flaws (i.e., a/2c = 0.5), respectively (refs. 5 and 6). Results of their solutions
are shown in terms of a stress-intensity magnification factor, MK, versus a/t in figure 3.
Reference 7 shows an estimate made by NASA/MSC of how M K varies as a function of
a/2c between values of a/2c of 0 and 0.5. The M K. factor is applied to the original Irwin
equation to obtain the stress intensity for deep surface flaws. The magnification
reaches a maximum value of less than 10 percent for semicircular flaws, whereas there
is an increase of about 60 percent for flaws having smaller values of a/2c.

Experimental data obtained on several materials with varying flaw sizes and flaw shapes
appear to provide a fair degree of substantiation of the available approximate solutions
(ref. 8). An exact numerical solution for deep, semielliptical, surface flaws with varying
values of a/2c is under development, and additional experimental investigations are
being performed.

To illustrate the effect of the deep-flaw stress-intensity magnification on predicted

critical flaw sizes, it is convenient to assume that the vessel contains flaws which are
long with respect to their depth. When the flaw-shape parameter, Q, is approximately
equal to unity (i.e., for long flaws), the flaw size can be described in terms of the flaw
depth, a. A predicted critical flaw-size curve (obtained using Kobayashi's M K curve) for



KI = 1.1 M K ,_O(a/Q) _

_ 1.6
..r- f
g J
_ 1.4 Kobayashi's solution ,,.,,
for small a/2c values /


(O/Oy s = 0.40)
__fSomith's solution
r a/2c = 0.50 _

0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0

Flaw-depth-to-wall thickness ratio, a/l

Figure 3. - Stress-intensity magnification factors for deep surface flaws.

:.-. . .7 ¸ , [
a typical tank material and wall thickness is shown in figure 4. Also shown for
comparison is the critical flaw-size curve for the same material in a thick-walled vessel.
The curve for the thin-walled vessel is characterized by a significant reduction in failing
stress at a given flaw size as compared to that for the thick-walled vessel. The life and
potential failure modes of these thin-walled vessels are schematically illustrated in
figure 5. The failure mode for thin-walled vessels can be complete fracture if the
critical flaw depth is less than the wall thickness at the operating stress level (figure
5A). Figure 5B illustrates the case where the critical flaw depth is greater than the wall
thickness at the operating stress level and the resulting failure mode is leakage.

From equation (1) it is apparent that to predict the critical sizes for surface and
internal flaws it is necessary to know the plane-strain fracture toughness (Kic) values
for the vessel materials (i.e., parent metal, welds, etc.). In heavy-gage, high-strength
materials or in thin-gage materials that are relatively brittle, it is generally a
straightforward task to obtain Kic values from laboratory tests. Several types of test
specimens are used to measure Kicvalues. These include fatigue-cracked bend
specimens, surface-flawed specimens, crack-line loaded specimens, center-cracked and
edge-cracked sheet specimens, and fatigue-cracked round notched-bar specimens.
Testing requirements, limitations, advantages, and disadvantages of these various types
of test specimens are discussed in considerable detail in references 2 and 3.

I I 1 I
a/2c is small
6O Kic = 37ksi i_. (1ks, i_. = 1.099 -_-v[m ")

i\ \ Thin-walled tank

v = 1.1 M K --_/_-Oa _)

_ 40
/ / Thick-walled tank

30 \ __/ (KIc = 1.1%/_'Oa ½)

< thickness _ _ _"--

/Tank wall

0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9

Flaw depth, a, in. (or 0.0254m)

Figure 4. - Criticalflaw-sizecurvesat L02 temperature for 2219-T87 aluminum



\ Max operating

-- E
_j Fracture


jss E


_, acr

Flaw size, a Time or cycles

A. Failure mode = fracture

_u/Leakag e
Max operatmg
t str'_,, - EE=
_"Wall 7:

Flaw size, a Time or cycles

B. Failure mode = leakage

Figure 5. - Schematic representation of thin-walled vessellife.

For predicting critical flaw sizes in aerospace pressure vessels, the surface-flawed
specimen has probably been the most widely used. However, the fatigue-cracked bend
specimen has the distinct advantage of being the only test specimen for which a
detailed proposed recommended practice has been published by the American Society
for Testing Materials (ref. 9).

In thin-gaged materials with moderate-to-high toughness, as well as all other situations

where the fracture stress levels exceed the yield strength, it is necessary to obtain
critical flaw-size data empirically. This was generally accomplished by testing a series of
surface-flawed specimens with thickness equal to the pressure-vessel wall thickness and
having various initial flaw sizes. Examples of such specimen tests are included in
references 10 and 1 1. Also, an example of such test data is shown in figure 6. These
data were obtained from reference 12.

2.2 Initial Flaw Size

To prevent failure, either the actual initial flaw sizes or the maximum possible initial
flaw sizes (or initial stress-intensity factors) of pressure vessels must be known.
Nondestructive inspection is the only means of determining actual initial flaw sizes. A
successful proof test can provide a measure of the maximum possible initial-to-critical
stress-intensity ratio, and in turn allows the maximum possible initial flaw size to be

2.2.1 Nondestructive Inspection

The more common inspection techniques for inspection of aerospace pressure vessels
are radiographic, ultrasonic, penetrant, and magnetic particle. Other techniques
investigated for potential production usage include eddy current and infrared (ref. 13).
Several studies have been performed during the past several years to evaluate the
capabilities of these various techniques to detect the different types of flaws found in
pressure vessels (refs. 13 and 14). Results of these studies, combined with actual
pressure-vessel inspection experience, lead to the following general conclusions:

. With the use of multiple inspection systems (e.g., X-ray, ultrasound, and
penetrant), most surface and internal flaws encountered in pressure vessels
can be, and generally are, detected. However, it is unsafe to assume that all
potentially dangerous flaws will be found at all times (e.g., tight cracks are
particularly difficult to detect).

2. The lower limits of inspection detection capability (i.e., the largest initial
flaw sizes which can escape detection) cannot be confidently established.


a/2c = 0.17 "---_ 0.31 _,//%




L_ Z_) _ 0
¢0 A \\ '___
co 160
A \

150 _Oys


Grain Direction
O Longitudinal
130 --

6AI-4V (STA) titanium

Room temperature
Data taken from reference 12

O 0.02 0.04 0.06

Flaw size, a/Q, in. (or 0.0254 m)

Figure 6. - Empirical critical flaw size data

° The inspection procedures commonly used do not provide the precise
measure of initial flaw sizes (i.e., length and depth) necessary for use in a
fracture mechanics analysis.

, Regardless of the limitations of the techniques, there is no practical

alternative but to rely on nondestructive inspection to prevent proof-test
failures of most high-strength pressure vessels.

2.2.2 Proof Test

For many years, it was normal practice to perform proof-pressure tests on pressure
vessels; these tests, in effect, have served at least as one of the final inspections prior to
service usage of the vessels. However, prior to about 1960, very little was understood
regarding the determination of proof-test factors and proof-test procedures to
minimize potential damaging effects of the test, yet ensure adequate subsequent service
performance. During the past ten years, it has become apparent from the results of
fracture mechanics studies and aerospace pressure-vessel experience that a properly
designed and successfully executed proof-pressure test is probably the most reliable
nondestructive inspection technique available for insuring that there are no initial flaws
of sufficient size to cause failure under operating conditions.

It was originally pointed out in reference 15 and illustrated in figure 2 of this

document, that a successful proof test to a pressure of ct times the maximum operating
pressure indicates that the maximum possible Kii/KIc at the maximum operating
pressure is equal to 1/ct and that this value could be used with subcritical flaw-growth
data to estimate the minimum life of the pressure vessel. Additionally, it is generally
true that the validity of the minimum life predictions do not depend upon accurate
values of either the actual applied stress levels or the fracture toughness (KIc), both of
which vary throughout a given vessel. However, it should be noted that to estimate the
maximum possible initial flaw sizes in any specific area of the vessel, it is necessary to
know the accurate applied stress levels and the Kic values.

From the standpoint of initial design, the minimum required proof-test factor for a
pressure vessel is ct = 1 + allowable KIi/KIc. The allowable value of Kii/Kic depends on
the required service life of the vessel and the subcritical flaw-growth characteristics of
the vessel materials and, ideally, should be a statistically meaningful value obtained
from laboratory test data.

Since the introduction of the proof-test concept, based on fracture mechanics, concern
has been expressed about possible damaging effects of the proof test; there has been
speculation that the test could cause the operational failure of a vessel that might have

performedsatisfactorilyhada proof test not beenperformed.Subcriticalflawgrowth
can,andoften does,occurin relativelyinert environments.Therefore,it is likely that
duringthe time requiredto performa proof test,initial flawsor defectsin the vessel
that areevidentcanincreasein sizeor possiblyflawswhich werenot evidentcouldbe
openedup. In fact, if the proof test is not properly designed(e.g.,if ct is < 1 +
allowable Kii/Kic , depressurization rates are too slow, or the test is conducted with an
aggressive test fluid), the flaw growth occurring during the test could be sufficient to
cause an operational failure.

During the past several years there have been numerous questions about the value of
the proof test with regard to the effects of applied stress levels and pressure-vessel wall
thickness, selection of the test temperature, test fluids, pressurization and
depressurization rates, time at maximum pressure, multiple proof-test cycles, the need
for postproof inspection, and the need to simulate service loads other than internal
pressure. At present, there does not appear to be unanimity of opinion throughout
industry on the effects of these items. However, based on the premise that most
pressure-vessel failures result from the existence and growth of flaws, several
observations and analyses can and have been made. These are summarized in the
following paragraphs. Effect of Applied Stress Levels

To prevent general yielding during proof testing, pressure-vessel membrane stresses are
normally limited to a value equal to or less than the yield strength of the material.
However, in practice, local stress levels often exceed the yield strength as a result of
design or manufacturing discontinuities and/or residual stresses. Also, in some cases
(e.g., cryoformed stainless steel vessels), the entire vessel may be purposely subjected
to stress levels well above the yield strength.

As shown in figure 2. when the applied stress approaches and exceeds the yield
strength of the material, the critical flaw-size curve deviates from the theoretical curve
based on a constant Kic so that critical flaw sizes are smaller than those predicted by
linear-elastic fracture mechanics. If the applied stresses in a pressure vessel at proof
pressure exceed the yield strength, and if the vessel passes the proof test, the maximum
possible Kii/Kic proven by the test is smaller than 1/a. The minimum operational life
of the vessel then should exceed the required life, which was used to determine a
originally. A potentially beneficial effect of high proof-stress levels is that flaws may
tend to be blunted and, as a result, the subcritical flaw growth during operational use
of the vessel could be retarded. An apparent disadvantage is that at high proof-stress
levels the critical flaw sizes may be very small compared to those that can normally be
detected; thus the proof-test failure rate may be quite high.

13 Effect of Wall Thickness

It has been shown by analysis that regardless of the pressure-vessel wall thickness, the
required minimum proof-test factor a is 1 + allowable Kii/KIc. However, the value of
the proof test in providing assurance against service failure changes with decreasing wall
thickness and/or increasing fracture toughness, Kic, the same as occurs with the
predicted pressure-vessel failure mode. This is discussed in more detail in reference 16
and illustrated in figure 7. Effect of Proof-Test Temperature

If the proof test is performed at a different temperature than service operating

temperature, the required minimum proof-test factor a is as follows:

a _

Allowable Kii/Kic at operating temperature

Kic at proof-test temperature

Kic at operating temperature

The advantages of testing at a temperature where the value of Kic is lower than it is at
the operational temperature are as follows: (1) a lower proof-test factor can be used to
guarantee the same operational life as guaranteed by the corresponding higher
proof-test factor at the operational temperature, and (2) a larger operational life can be
assured by using the same proof-test factor as the one at operational temperature. The
disadvantage is the need to know accurately how Kic varies with temperature for all of
the materials in the vessel as well as the statistical variation in Kic for each material.
Also possible increased risk of proof-test failures is associated with the second case. Effect of Test Fluids

During the late 1950's it became apparent that the test fluid was often a major factor
contributing to the many proof-test failures that were being experienced. At that time
considerable emphasis was placed on the use of high-strength steel alloys in
solid-propellant motor cases, and it was common practice to perform the proof test
using water as the test fluid, One of the first systematic studies on the detrimental
effects of water on high-strength steel motor cases was performed by Shank et al. (ref.
17). In this study it was shown that by the mechanism of hydrogen cracking, the water
was promoting slow flaw growth that eventually resulted in failure of the motor cases.
With the use of oil as the proof-test fluid, the problem was overcome. Similar results
were obtained by researchers in other studies.

..... • !:_::i i_ •

Increasing fracture toughness and/or

decreasing wall thickness

(Case I) (Case II) (Case III) (Case IV)

Wall Wall

thickness.,_,_ th ickness,x, _

/l<lc 'Kic \
a-O-op ....,-. a'Oop a'Oop a'Oop

Oper__ !X ' %p Oop %p
°°P al i_ t Walt
Wall /
thickness / thickness
liar. I
I cr ial

,, I I
Flaw depth, a Flaw depth, a Flaw depth, Flaw depth, a

Probable @ Proof _ Fracture F ractu re Leak age Leakage

mode @ Oper. _ Fracture Leakage Leakage Leakage

Potential Can assure Can assure Can assure Can assure

value of cyclic and sustained cyclic and sustained sustained pressure sustained pressure
proof test pressure life pressure life life life

min. proof- a= 1 _Allow. a = 1 -: Allow. a = 1 :-- KTH/KIc a= 1 _- KTH/KIc
test factor
Kli/KI c Kli/KIc

Figure 7. - The effect of wall thickness on value of proof test.

As the heat treat strength levels of steel alloys are reduced, they seem to become less
and less susceptible to water-induced flaw growth [e.g., water is often used as a
proof-test fluid for steel alloys having a yield strength below about 180 to 200 ksi
(1 ksi = 6.895 MN/m 2)]. Corrosion inhibitors, such as sodium dichromate, are often
used in the water; distilled water is sometimes used; and some pressure-vessel
fabricators use demineralized water. While these measures may be quite effective in
inhibiting general pitting corrosion, there appears to be little or no evidence that they
will inhibit flaw growth under sustained stress if a flaw is present.

The selection of the proper proof-test fluid is an important consideration for all alloys.
With precracked tensile specimens tested under sustained stress in the intended test
fluid, it is possible to obtain a measure of the adequacy of the fluid for use in the proof
test. (See sections 2.3 and 4.) Effect of Test Duration and Pressurization/Depressurization Rate

If the vessel is pressurized slowly, or if the proof pressure is sustained for a long period
of time, the probability of a proof-test failure is increased because of possible slow flaw
growth. However, after a successful test it can still be said that the maximum possible
Kii/Kic at the operating pressure is equal to 1/ct. On the other hand, if the vessel is
depressurized slowly so that the flaw that was just smaller than the critical size at the
proof-stress level continues to grow, the maximum possible Kii/Kic after the test will
be greater than 1/ct_ In fact, it appears that if the rate of increase in stress intensity
caused by flaw growth is greater than the rate of decrease in stress intensity caused by
reduction in stress, the vessel could even fail during depressurization.

The amount of flaw growth that will occur during depressurization depends upon the
actual Kii/Kic ratio (or initial flaw size) at the start of depressurization, the
depressurization rate, and the flaw-growth characteristics of the vessel materials under
sustained stress in the proof-test fluid. If it is assumed that the Kii/Kic ratio
approaches unity (i.e., the vessel is just about to fail) at the start of depressurization,
and if sustained-stress flaw growth-rate data for the material in the test fluid are
available, it is possible to determine the maximum possible Kii/Kic at the start of the
vessel's operational life as a function of depressurization time. This has been done for
some specific material and test fluid combinations in reference 7. Effect of Multiple Proof Tests

In general, it appears that very little can be gained by performing multiple-cycle proof
tests. Even after the last cycle, all that can be said is that the maximum possible
Kii/Klc -- 1/ct, and that the cycles performed after the first cycle could have done some

needlessdamageto the vesselbecauseof cyclic flaw growth. However,special
circumstancesoccasionallydictatethe need,or makeit desirable,to conductmore
than one proof test. The majority of the vesselsusedin the Apollo programusea
proof test. Need for Postproof-Test Inspection

Current practice in industry regarding inspection after proof testing is divided, and
there have been arguments made both for and against this inspection. There is general
agreement that postproof-test nondestructive inspection can in some cases detect flaws
which were previously missed (perhaps because the flaws were too tight) and detect
flaw enlargement that may have occurred as a result of the proof test. Also, inspection
after proof test can potentially point to areas of the vessel requiring process or design
improvement. Considering this to be the case, the postproof inspection of at least the
initial vessels fabricated from a new design appears desirable.

However, the discovery of flaws following a proof test can create a dilemma concerning
the action required. If the flaws are repaired, another proof-test and postproof-test
inspection are generally required. This cycle could conceivably be repeated several
times before the vessel is (or appears to be) free of flaws. Furthermore, it is argued
(and many times correctly so) that the multiple repairs can be more detrimental than
the original flaws.

From the standpoint of fracture mechanics, there seems to be no particular need for
postproof-test inspection if the proof test is properly designed and successfully
executed. Any flaws that may be present after the test should not be of sufficient size
to cause operational failure of the pressure vessel.

Based on pressure-vessel experience, there appears to be no strong arguments either for

or against postproof-test inspection. Because the inspection in itself is not harmful,
there is no reason to say that it should not be performed. However, it does appear that
caution should be exercised to avoid over repair and reproof. Need for Combined-Load Proof Tests

In most proof tests of pressure vessels, internal pressure is the only applied load.
However, in some cases, vessels are critical for internal pressure combined with flight
loads, and it is not possible to represent the operational stress levels in the vessel by
internal pressure alone. In such cases, it generally appears desirable to include
provisions in the test setup to apply representative flight loads combined with
internal pressure. This has been done for some aerospace pressure vessels.

2.3 Subcritical Flaw Growth

Subcritical flaw growth can occur as a result of cyclic loading, sustained-stress loading,
and combined sustained-stress and cyclic loading. When the sustained-stress flaw
growth is environmentally induced, it is often termed stress corrosion; combined cyclic
and sustained-stress growth is called corrosion fatigue when environmentally induced.
Because of the potentially high rates of flaw growth, the problems of sustained-stress
and combined cyclic and sustained-stress flaw growth are particularly important in the
design of aerospace pressure vessels.

Data from fracture specimen tests can be used in a fracture mechanics analysis to
predict the number of cycles or the time the vessel must be under sustained pressure
for an initial flaw to grow to critical size. It has been shown (refs. 19 to 23) that for a
given environment and cyclic loading profile, the time or cycles to failure depends
primarily upon the magnitude of the initial stress intensity, Kii, as compared to the
critical stress intensity, Kic [i.e., cycles or time to failure = f(Kii/Kic)]. This is
particularly significant, because, as pointed out in the previous section, the proof test
provides a measure of the maximum possible Kii/Kic in the vessel.

During the past several years, cyclic and sustained-stress flaw-growth data have been
obtained for a large number of different pressure vessel materials in a wide variety of
environments. Although there are several methods of graphically presenting such data,
probably the simplest and most useful are plots of Kii/Kic versus cycles to failure and
Kii/Kic versus time to failure. Figure 8 shows typical Kii/Kic versus cycle data for

,.o i =, i _, 1 [-
! ! , _! _ _. --1-t-]-7 Best-fit
I I I I I I I _t'_L"_ _ I I I/squarecurve

_x 0.6

_= H _/_c_nfidenTe-- II I I

II _ ,. I I I II I Envi!°_ nment = rOOm temperature air

o.21-t I1 ks_=6._/m'l _ R=O.lOstre


o I (
, 1o ,oo ,ooo ,oooo
Cycles to fracture

Figure 8. - Cyclic flaw-growth data for heat-treated 6AI-4V titanium.

6AI-4V titanium at room temperature. Both the best-fit curve and the 96-percent
probability and 99-percent confidence-level curve are shown. Figure 9 shows Kii/Kic
versus time data for 6A1-4V titanium in two different liquid, environments.
Experimental procedures used to obtain such cyclic and sustained-stress flaw-growth
data are described in several references including references 18 to 23.

Several different types of test specimens have been used to obtain subcritical
flaw-growth data. These include round notched bars, surface-flawed specimens,
center-cracked panels, single-edge notched specimens, crack-line loaded specimens, and
notched-bend specimens. Of major interest to the pressure-vessel designer is the growth
of flaws under plane-strain conditions. Specimens containing through-cracks must be
relatively thick, for most materials, to develop plane-strain conditions at the tip of the
crack. This requirement has restricted the use of such specimens for the thin-walled
pressure-vessel life prediction problem. On the other hand, such specimens have the
advantage of permitting the observation and measurement of crack growth during the
course of the test. Acquisition of these data has not been limited to any one type of
specimen; however, the majority of the data on aerospace pressure vessel materials has
been obtained with the surface-flawed specimen.

2.3.1 Sustained-Stress Flaw Growth

The most important characteristic observed in all sustained-stress flaw-growth

experiments performed to date is the existence of a threshold stress-intensity level for a
given material in a given environment. The observation has been that below a given


w, ;(JTH/KIc)_

v 0.80

P 0.70

-6i;;.n4vr_sT,_ )folging 4-


O 0.20 water _
._m . • Fa,ore I I
0.10 No failure with flaw growth

_ No failure, no flaw growth •

0.10 1.0 10.0 1O0.0 1000.0

Time, hr.

Figure 9. - Sustained-load flaw-growth data.

value of stress intensity, or Kii/Kic ratio, flaw growth has not been detected; above
this value, growth does occur and can result in fracture. This stress intensity has been
designated as KTH and is shown in figure 9.

The discovery of a unique KTH for a given material and environment is the key to the
design of safe pressure vessels subjected to sustained loading. While KTH can be 80
percent of Kic, or higher, in relatively inert environments, hostile media can reduce its
value to less than one-half of Kic (fig. 9). In general, it has been found that KTH values
decrease with increasing yield strength in steel alloys (refs. 24 and 25). Also, there is
considerable evidence indicating that sustained-load flaw growth is most severe under
conditions of plane strain (ref. 26). Reference 27 shows that KTH values, determined
from tests of through-the-thickness cracked specimens, increase with decrease in
specimen thickness.

Studies of flaw growth and stress intensity for materials in aggressive environments
(refs. 25 to 31) indicate an ever increasing flaw-growth rate with increasing stress
intensity; however, as shown in reference 7, the growth rate may be relatively constant
over an appreciable range of stress intensities. In tests for KTH, wide scatter is often
encountered in the data. Also encountered are abnormally short times to failure and
very marked dependence on environmental characteristics (media and temperature).
Even minor changes in the chemical composition of the environment can significantly

affect the KTH value (refs. 21 and 22).

In chemically inert environments, the crack growth rate initially decreases with
increasing stress intensity. If the initial-stress intensity is sufficiently low, the crack
may halt. At higher stress intensities, the crack growth rate passes through a minimum
value and then increases steadily until the crack becomes unstable. This flaw-growth
behavior is reported by Johnson (ref. 24) for AM 350 steel in a purified argon

This behavior is also noted in reference 20, where two threshold stress intensities were
defined for 5 A1-2.5 Sn (ELI) titanium and 2219-T87 aluminum in the environments
of room air, liquid nitrogen, and liquid hydrogen. One threshold stress intensity was
defined as that value above which flaw growth to failure could be expected, and the
other as the value below which there is no flaw growth. In between these two
threshold stress intensities, small amounts of flaw growth can occur; however, the
growth apparently arrests after a short time at load.

From these remarks, it is apparent that the service conditions must be carefully
simulated when developing KTH data for pressure vessel design. Some examples of
experimentally determined KTH/KIc ratios are shown in table I.


Temp., ays_ Fluid KTH

Material oF a ksi o environment KI c Ref.

RT c 160 Methanol 0.24 i 21

6A1-4V (STA)
RT 160 Freon M.F. 0.58 21
titanium tOrging
160 0:74 22
RT N204 (.30 % NO)
RT 160 0.83 22
N204 (.60 % NO)
RT 160 , H20 + sodium 0.82 21
RT 160 H20 0.86 21
160 Helium, air, 0.90 21
or GOX
RT 160 Aerozine 50 0.82 21
90 160 N204 (.30 % NO) 0.71 22
90 160 N204 (.60 % NO) 0.75 ' 22
105 160 Monomethyl- 0.75 21
110 160 Aerozine 50 0.75 21

126 Methanol 0.28 21

6A1-4V titanium RT
126 Freon M.F. 0.40 21
weldments (heat- RT
126 0.83 21
affected zones) RT H20
126 0.82 21
RT H20 + sodium

5A1-25 Sn (ELI) -320 180 LN2 (a < pro- >0.90 20

titanium plate portional

-320 180 0.82 20
LN 2 (o>pro-
-423 210 >0.90 20

2219-T87 aluminum RT 58 Air 0.90 :d 20

plate -320 66 LN2 0.82 d
-423 72 LH_ >0.85 20

4330 steel R_ 205 water 0.24 24

4340 steel RT > 200 Salt water _0.20 32

GTA welds:
Salt water >0.70 • "'33
18Ni (200) RT 200
steel spray
18Ni (250) RT 235 Salt water >0.70 33
steel spray
12Ni-5Cr- RT 170 Salt water >0.70 33
3 Mo steel spray
9Ni-4Co- RT 170 Salt water >0.70 33
2.5C steel spray

Inconel 718 RT 165 Gaseous <0.25 34

hydrogen at
5000 psig

a o K = (5/9)(OF + 459.67). c Room temperature.

b 1 ksi = 6.895 MNIm 2. d No failure KTH, some growth observed at lower values (ref. 10).

Probably the most convincing evidence that the stress-intensity factor, K, is the
controlling mechanical parameter in sustained-stress flaw growth are the strong
correlations obtained between various types of fracture test specimens and between
test specimens and actual pressure vessels.

Beachem and Brown (ref. 35) explored this consistency using three different test
specimen types:

1. The center-cracked plate.

2. The surface-flawed plate.

3. The precracked cantilever beam.

Using 4340 steel in a dilute NaC1 solution, the same KTH value was obtained for all
three types of test specimens. The work of Smith, Piper, and Downey (ref. 28)
provides additional evidence. They used center-cracked specimens to determine the
threshold stress intensity for crack initiation with end loading, and crack arrest with
wedge-force loading. For Ti-8AI-IMo-IV alloy in 3½ percent salt solution, the
threshold stress
intensity for crack initiation was 20 to 25 ksix/in"_--_-
(1 ksix/_. = 1.099_-x/-m) and for crack arrest 20 to 22 ksivq-n-. For end-loaded
test specimens under constant load, both the stress-intensity factor and net section
stress increase with increasing crack length; with wedge-force loading, the net section
stresses increase whereas the stress intensity decreases with increasing crack length. The
excellent agreement between initiation and arrest values of KTH clearly shows that it is
the stress-intensity parameter and not net section stress that is the controlling
parameter in sustained-stress crack growth. Correlations between sustained-stress flaw
growth in surface-flawed fracture test specimens and pressure vessels subjected to
sustained pressurization are shown in references 10, 20, and 34.

In addition to comparisons of laboratory test specimen data to pressure-vessel data,

there have been several instances where data from sustained-stress fracture-test
specimens and fracture-mechanics analyses have been used to describe conditions
leading up to service failures and to arrive at corrective actions. Examples of service
failure analyses include: a 4330-steel hydraulic actuator that failed in a water
environment as shown in references 2 and 32; titanium pressure-vessel failures in an
N204 propellant environment shown in reference 36; and titanium pressure-vessel
failures in a methanol environment shown in reference 21.

2.3.2 Combined Cyclic and Sustained-Stress Flaw Growth

The use of Kii/Kic versus cycle data to predict the life of thick-walled pressure vessels
was first reported in the literature in reference 15. It indicated that if the maximum
possible Kii/Kic in the vessel were known (i.e., from a successful proof test), the
ordinate of a Kii/Kic versus cycles plot, such as that shown in figure 8, could be
entered at the appropriate value of Kii/Kic and the predicted minimum number of
cycles to fracture read from the abscissa. Experimental substantiation of this approach,
based on tests of actual preflawed pressure vessels, was subsequently presented in
references 10, 18, and 19. However, this approach was based on the assumption that
the pressure vessel was cycled at a speed comparable to that used in generating the test
specimen data or that cyclic speed was not important. In reference 2, it was
hypothesized that for values of initial-stress intensity (Kii) below the sustained-stress,
threshold-stress intensity value (KTH), cyclic speed (or hold time at maximum load)
probably would not affect the cyclic growth rate of flaws; but for values of Kii above
KTH , it could have a significant effect. In other words, the minimum cyclic life was
limited by the number of cycles required to increase the value of Kii to the KTH value,
and above the KTH level, failure could occur in one additional cycle if the hold time
was sufficiently long: On a curve of Kii/Kic versus log cycles to fracture, this cyclic life
is represented by the difference between the number of cycles at the ordinates of
KIi/KI c and KTH/K I c-

To date there are limited experimental data to substantiate this hypothesis. These data
were developed for 2219-T87 aluminum and 5A1-2.5Sn(ELI) titanium in the relatively
inert environment of liquid nitrogen and are shown in reference 20. When materials are
subjected to more aggressive environments (i.e., those resulting in low KTH/KIc values)
there is considerable doubt regarding the general validity of the hypothesis. There are
some data on 8AI-IMo-IV titanium in a salt-water environment that indicate cyclic
frequency has no significant effect on flaw-growtla rate at stress-intensity levels below
KTH. These data are shown in reference 37. On the other hand, recent investigations
by Barsom (ref. 38) and Wei (ref. 37) have shown that for some material-environment
combinations, both the environment and the cyclic frequency can affect the
flaw-growth rates at values of stress-intensity below KTH. For example, Barsom has
shown that, for 12Ni steel in a salt water environment, cyclic growth rates of flaws are
higher than in a dry environment and progressively increase with decreasing cyclic
frequency (i.e., from 10 Hz to 0.1 Hz) at stress-intensity (Kmax) levels less than KTH.
A complete explanation of this type of behavior has not been obtained; however, it is
apparent that additional research on environmentally enhanced fatigue growth (i.e.,
corrosion fatigue) is required.

If it is necessaryto usematerialshavinglow-threshold,stress-intensityvalues(lessthan
70- to 80-percentKIc) in the expectedoperatingenvironment,it appearsthat the
effect of environmentandcyclic frequencyon cyclic growthratesof flawsshouldbe
determinedandthe appropriateratesusedto estimatethelife of the pressurevessel.As
previouslymentioned,the minimum allowablecyclic life is limited to the numberof
cyclesrequiredto increasethevalueof the initial stressintensityKii to the KTH value.

The technique for using data on Kii/Kic versus cyclesto fracture to estimate
pressure-vessel life also dependson pressure-vessel
wall thickness.For thick-walled
vessels, the Kii/Kic curvescanbeuseddirectly,aspreviouslyindicated.For thin-walled
vessels,the task is somewhatmore complicated.Whenthe depth of a surfaceflaw
becomeslargewith respectto the wall thicknessof the vessel,the stressintensityis
higherthan that predictedby the originalIrwin surface-flawequation(ref. 4), andasa
result, the subcriticalflaw-growthrateswill be higherand the total vessellife shorter
than that obtainedfrom Kii/Kic curvesof the type shownin figure8. (It shouldbe
noted that shallowsurface-flawtest specimenswere usedin generatingthe basic
Kii/Kic data.) The increasein stressintensity for long surfaceflaws and for
semicircularsurfaceflaws, which becomedeep with respectto the vessel'swall
thickness,hasbeenapproximatedby KobayashiandSmith,respectively(Sec.2.1).As
indicatedin reference8 and shownin the examplein AppendixB, for thin-walled
vessels,it is necessaryto use flaw growth-rate data and to account for the
stress-intensitymagnification of deepflaws when making estimatesof vessel life.
Curves of flaw-growth rate can be obtained by differentiating the curves of Kii/Kic
versus cycle. For a given vessel design, the flaw growth-rate curves can then be
arithmetically integrated using the Kobayashi approximation to account for the
increase in stress intensity as the flaw approaches the free surface of the pressure-vessel
wall. A relatively simple procedure is shown in reference 8. Like thick-walled vessels
subjected to long hold times at maximum pressure, the cyclic life of thin-walled vessels
is the number of cycles required to increase the stress intensity from some known or
maximum possible initial value to the threshold value for sustained stress flaw growth.

In the analysis of thin-walled vessels, if it is found that the flaw gets very deep (i.e.,
approximately one plastic zone size from the back surface of the vessel wall) prior to
attaining the threshold-stress intensity, it appears wise to experimentally determine
cyclic flaw-growth rates with preflawed test specimens having the same thickness as the
actual vessel wall. The plane-strain plastic zone size can be approximated by


Recentstudies(ref. 39) haveshownthat in this situationthe flaw-growthratesat a
given stress-intensity
level may be higher than those predictedfrom the resultsof
shallow-flaw,thick-specimen testdata.

The designobjectiveis to assurethat the minimum acceptablepressure-vessel

life will
be attained,rather than to estimatelife per se.This can be accomplishedfrom an
accuratepredictionof the servicelife by usinglaboratorycyclic andsustained-stress
flaw-growthdatato establishallowableKii/Kic ratios,andby determiningfrom these
ratiostherequiredproof-testfactorsandmaximumpermissibleinitial flaw sizes.


Metallic pressure vessels for space vehicles shall be designed to avoid service failure
caused by flaws and to ensure that the probability of catastrophic failure resulting
from flaws during proof tests is remote. The pressures, temperatures, environments,
and stresses from sources other than internal pressure to which the pressure vessels will
be exposed shall be accounted for. The materials selected for pressure vessels shall
possess appropriate fracture- and flaw-growth characteristics; and, all material
properties or characteristics used in design and analysis shall be taken from reliable
sources of data or adequately substantiated by tests. Critical flaw sizes for stress levels
of interest shall be determined by analysis or test as appropriate. Where possible, the
maximum size of initial flaws permitted in pressure vessels shall be sufficient to have a
high probability of detection by nondestructive inspection but not sufficient to attain
the critical flaw size during the pressure vessel's service life. In addition, the permissible
initial flaw size shall be less than the critical flaw size at the proof-pressure stress level.
The initial stress-intensity ratio permitted in pressure vessels shall be selected to ensure
that the critical stress-intensity ratio is not attained during the design life of the vessel.
Each pressure vessel shall be proof tested. The proof-pressure level shall be selected to
demonstrate that the pressure vessel is free of flaws larger than the permissible initial
flaw size or that the actual initial stress-intensity ratio is less than the permissible initial
stress-intensity ratio. Account shall be taken of differences between the proof test and
service temperatures, and of the time required to pressurize and depressurize the vessel
during the proof test:

3.1 Design Conditions

The maximum operating pressure shall be determined for each pressure vessel, and the
probability of exceeding this pressure during test (except proof test) and service usage

shall be sufficiently low to be consistentwith the overallvehicleflightworthiness

The internalpressure-time-temperature
history for the vesselduringtest, storage,and

The internalandexternalliquid andgaseousenvironmentsto which the vesselwill be


Temperaturegradientsassociatedwith all critical groundandflight conditionsshallbe

determinedandaccountedfor in the designandtestof eachmetallicpressurevessel.

Stressesresultingfrom flight andgroundloadsshallbedeterminedanalyticallyand/or

experimentally;if they occursimultaneouslywith andareadditiveto internalpressure
they shallbe accountedfor in the designandsimulatedduringthe proof test
of thevessel.

Local yielding caused by stressesresulting from design discontinuities and

manufacturingdiscontinuitiesshall be permitted at the proof-test pressurelevel if
empirical flaw size versus stress data have been obtained for the particular
discontinuitiesin question(e.g.,asymmetricalweld lands,mismatch,etc.) andif it has
been demonstratedthat at the proof-testPressurethe flaw sizerequiredto cause
fractureeitherexceedsthe local materialthicknessor is of sufficientsizeto resultin a
high probability of detection.This procedureis necessaryto minimizethe probability
of proof-testfailure.Generalyieldingshall_aotbepermittedat the proof-pressure level
unlessthe pressurevesselis designedto accommodate it.

3.2 Materials

The fracture and subcritical flaw-growth characteristics of the pressure vessel materials
shall be determined for all critical environmental conditions.

Materials with low sustained-stress, threshold-stress intensity values in the anticipated

service environment shall not be used in metallic pressure vessels unless adequate
protection from the service environment can be demonstrated by test.

Material properties used in the design of metallic pressure vessels shall be the "A"
values of MIL-HDBK-5 for unflawed parent metal or obtained in the same manner as
those values.


_, _ ,/

' . , ,_ _ 14.
Material properties of weldments and repaired weldments shall be obtained by tests
based on the same procedure used in obtaining the "A" values of MIL-HDBK-5 for
unflawed parent metal.

3.3 Critical Flaw Sizes

When the proof and maximum-operating stress levels are less than the tensile yield
strength of the pressure-vessel material, the critical flaw sizes shall be calculated and
based on the appropriate stress-intensity equations, the applied stress, and the
measured plane-strain fracture toughness of the material.

When the applied stress (proof or operating) exceeds the tensile yield strength of the
material, the critical flaw sizes shall be empirically determined using test specimens
that contain flaws simulating those that could be encountered in the actual pressure

3.4 Initial Flaw Size

The maximum permissible initial flaw size in metallic pressure vessels shall be the
largest flaw which cannot attain the critical flaw size within the required life span of
the vessel, and shall be smaller than the critical flaw at the proof-stress level.

Pressure-vessel joints having the permissible radial and/or angular mismatch and
containing the maximum permissible initial surface-flaw size on the high
tension-stressed surface shall be capable of withstanding the proof stress without

3.5 Allowable Stress-Intensity Ratio

The allowable initial-to-critical stress-intensity ratio for a metallic pressure vessel shall
be the largest value which cannot attain unity within the required life span of the

The allowable initial-to-critical stress-intensity ratio shall be no higher than the value
obtained from an analysis of the subcritical flaw-growth tests of the pressure-vessel
materials in the anticipated service environments.

The allowable initial-to-critical stress-intensity ratio for metallic pressure vessels subject
to short-time pressurization shall be allowed to exceed the threshold-to-critical
stress-intensity ratio only if it can be shown by test that the allowable ratio cannot
attain unity during the operational life of the vessel.

3.6 Proof Test

Each pressure vessel shall be subjected to a proof test. The proof-test factor shall be
equal to, or greater than, one divided by the allowable initial-to-critical stress-intensity

When it has been shown by test that the pressure-vessel materials exhibit a decreasing
fracture resistance with decreasing temperature, the proof test shall be conducted at a
temperature equal to, or less than, the lowest expected operating temperature.

The pressurization time and hold time at the proof-pressure level shall be the minimum
practical, consistent with possible test-system limitations. Emphasis shall be placed on
minimizing depressurization time.

Analytical and experimental verification that the probable service failure mode is
leakage rather than catastrophic fracture shall be required when assurance of safe
operational life cannot be provided by proof test.


From the discussion in Section 2 it is apparent that to prevent proof-test failures, low
proof-stress levels and materials having high fracture-toughness values should be used so
that the critical flaw sizes are large and hopefully exceed the thickness of the
pressure-vessel wall. In this case the worst that could happen during proof testing is
that the vessel would leak and require repair. Also, it is apparent that to obtain
maximum assurance of safe operational performance it would be preferable to use large
proof-test factors, low operational-stress levels, and materials with low flaw-growth
rates under cyclic loads and high values of KTH in the expected service environment.
However, the use of high proof-test factors, low proof-stress levels, low operating-stress
levels, and materials having very high fracture-toughness values (often associated with
low tensile strengths) generally leads to excessively high pressure-vessel weight. With
the possible exception of some first-stage launch-vehicle tankage, these vessels are
generally not cost effective in terms of the delivery cost in dollars-per-pound of
payload in orbit.

Tradeoffs can and should be made to arrive at an optimum design for a given pressure
vessel application. The interrelations between materials, the required service life of the
vessel, the required proof-test factor, the allowable flaw sizes, the probability of
proof-test failure, and the weight of the pressure vessel should be understood and
carefully assessed. These interrelations are illustrated in a simplified example in
Appendix A. Tradeoffs, however, must be made within the constraints provided by the
design criteria of the previous section.

4.1 Design Conditions

To prevent premature service failure of metallic pressure vessels, it is extremely

important to consider the entire anticipated pressure-time-temperature history of the
vessel and the environments to which it will be exposed.

The value of maximum operating pressure used in the design of liquid propellant tanks
and gas bottles should equal the maximum nominal-operating pressure plus the upper
tolerance of the pressure-limiting device. This device should have a reliability consistent
with the overall vehicle flightworthiness requirements.

The predicted pressure-vessel history should include pressures, times, temperatures, and
fluid and gaseous environments for all of the anticipated cycles, starting with the initial
proof-pressure test and ending with the last service-pressure cycle. Also, it is important
to include pressurization rates, depressurization rates, and hold times. In those cases
where the life history of the vessel cannot be accurately predicted, a design life
envelope should be established and the appropriate operational limitations placed upon
the completed vessel.

Loads other than internal pressure, such as slosh, sonic, vibration, handling, and
transportation loads, should be determined in accordance with applicable NASA
monographs. Effort should be made to minimize high stresses resulting from flight and
ground loads by careful detailed design and by using antislosh, damping, and antishock
devices. Stresses resulting from external flight and ground loads should be determined
analytically and/or experimentally, and accounted for in the design of the pressure
vessel. Temperature gradients (and resulting thermal stresses) should be determined for
all critical ground and flight conditions. If the stresses are of sufficient magnitude to
affect the basic vessel design, an effort should be made to minimize or eliminate these
stresses using thermal insulation, controlled fill rates of cryogens, etc.

Wherever possible, the objective should be to eliminate residual stresses by stress relief
treatments. If this is not practical, residual stresses should be minimized by careful
design and controlled welding procedures.

A stress analysis should be performed for every vessel and include stresses resulting
from internal pressure, ground and flight loads, and thermal gradients. The analysis of
stresses resulting from internal pressure should include primary membrane stresses and
secondary bending and membrane stresses that result from design discontinuities and
allowable design deviations.

General yielding should be avoided during pressure testing except for those vessels that
are specifically designed to accommodate it (e.g., cryoformed stainless-steel vessels). To

avoid generalyielding during proof-pressuretesting, the minimum designultimate
factorof safety,(F.S.)MDU, shouldbeasfollows:

Parent metal ultimate strength (4)

(F.S.)MDU = a x Parent metal yield strength


a = Proof factor = 1 + (Allowable Kii/Kic)

The factors previously specified are minimum values for all metallic pressure vessels
used on both manned and unmanned vehicles. Uncertainties in loads, pressures, service
environments, and/or service requirements may make it necessary to use higher factors;
however, in no case should lower factors be used.

4.2 Materials

The following fracture and subcritical flaw-growth characteristics should be obtained

for materials intended for use in metallic pressure vessels:

. The plane-strain fracture toughness values (i.e., Kic values) for the parent
metal, weldments, and heat-affected zones at the operating- and proof-test
temperatures, and in the principal directions of loadings.

2. The threshold stress-intensity (KTH) values for the parent metal, weldments,
and heat-affected zones in simulated service environments.

3. The cyclic flaw-growth data (curves of Kii/Kic versus cycles or _versus
K) for the parent metal, weldments, and heat-affected zones.

In addition, the effects of material processing on these fracture characteristics should

be determined. A quality control program should be established to determine that large
variations in values of toughness or threshold stress-intensity ratios do not occur from
one batch, or heat, of material to another. Also, each manufacturing process that might
adversely affect the strength, toughness, and threshold stress-intensity values of the end
product (e.g., welding and heat treating) should be certified by performing specimen
tests. Test specimens should have the same shape, be made from the same materials,
and use the processes planned for production hardware.

The quantity of fracture test data obtained should be determined on the basis of the
impact a failure would have on the mission, schedules, and costs.

To comply with the criteria in this monograph,it is unnecessaryto limit the
determinationof fracture toughnessvaluesto any particulartype of test specimen.
However,it doesappearthat the curvesof predictedcritical flaw size(basedon the
measuredKic values) for the pressure-vessel parent metal, weldments, and
heat-affectedzonesshouldbeverifiedby datafroma seriesof surface-flawed specimen
tests.The test specimens shouldbe the samethickness,processed in the samemanner
as the vessel,and eachshouldcontaina different sizeflaw. Procedures for specimen
fabricationandtest arediscussed in reference19.To eliminatethe effectsof inplane
bendingand specimenwidth, the test-specimen width shouldbe aboutfive times'the
surface-flawlength(i.e.,the 2c dimension).

Likewise, the acquisition of threshold stress-intensity(KTH) data and cyclic

flaw-growthdata shouldnot be limited to the useof any onetype of test specimen.
However,the surface-flawed specimenhasbeenusedto obtain the majority of such
datato date(Sec.2).

The recommended experimentalapproaches for usingsurface-flawed

testspecimens to
obtain data on Kii/Kic versuscycles, and Kii/Kic versustime are describedin
references19 to 23; therefore,it is unnecessary
to repeatthe approachesin detail in
thismonograph,however,the followingdeserveparticularattention.

Data on cyclic andsustained-stress flaw growthshouldbe obtainedfor parentmetal,

weldments,and heat-affected zones.The testspecimensshouldbe of sufficientwidth
to preventinplanebendingeffects;for the cyclictests,it isparticularlyimportantthat
the test specimenbe sufficientlythick to ensurethat the flaw attainsthe critical size
beforegrowingmore than half way through the thicknessof the specimen.It is also
recommendedthat cyclic testsbe performedin the anticipatedserviceenvironment
andthat the effect of cyclic frequencybe evaluated.In mostcases,a cyclicfrequency
of about 0.0167 to 0.0833 Hz (1 to 5 cpm) is consideredsuitable. For the
testsaccuratesimulationof the anticipatedserviceenvironmentshould
be emphasized. A completesetof dataon KIi/Kic versuscycleshouldbeobtainedfor
eachof the anticipatedservice-loading profiles(i.e., R values).It is conceivable thatin
somecasespriorload,temperature,andenvironmenthistoriescouldhavea detrimental
effect on cyclic- andsustained-stress,
flaw-growthcharacteristics. If this is suspected,
the effectsshouldbedeterminedexperimentally.

The requiredfracture-toughness andsubcriticalflaw-growthcharacteristics of materials

to beusedin metallicpressure vesselscannotbespecifiedin termsof specificminimum
or maximumallowablevaluesbecauseof the many factors involved.However,in
general,it is recommended that the materialhavesufficientfracturetoughness sothat
the predictedcritical flaw sizesat the appliedproof stressaresufficientlylargesothat
thereis a high probability of their beingdetectedprior to the test.Also, materialsthat

exhibit a low-thresholdstressintensity in the anticipatedserviceenvironmentshould
be avoided.If the materialhas a KTH value below about 70 percentof Kic, the
possibleuseof alternatematerialsshouldbeinvestigated.

Useof the improvementsin allowableuniaxialultimateandyield strengthscausedby

biaxial stressfields results in increasedoperationaland proof stressesas well as
lighterweight pressurevessels.The higher stressesreduce the critical flaw sizes,
however, and increasethe chancesof premature failure of the pressurevessel.
Therefore,increasesin the allowableuniaxial tensileyield andultimatestrengthsof
parentmetalcausedby biaxialstressshouldbetakeninto accountonly if

. The critical flaw sizes associated with the increased proof-stress level are
large (high probability of being detected prior to the test).

• _i!
•.... • 2. Sufficient experimental data are available to allow a reliable determination
of the biaxial improvement factor.

Because of the high probability of the occurrence of defects and the complexities in
stress fields introduced by design and manufacturing discontinuities, biaxial strength
elevation should not be used to establish allowable ultimate strengths of welded joints.

In cases where the effect of the biaxial stress field reduces the uniaxial tensile strength,
the amount of the reduction should be determined experimentally and used to
establish allowable strengths.

4.3 Critical Flaw Sizes

Prevention of proof-test failure requires knowledge of the critical flaw sizes at

proof-stress levels, knowledge of possible flaw growth during proof test, and detection
and repair of all flaws that exceed or could attain the critical size during proof test.
Prediction of accurate critical flaw sizes is not always an easy task; however, it is a
necessary goal.

The concept of critical flaw sizes and the equations for determining these sizes for
surface flaws in thick- and thin-walled vessels were introduced in section 2. These
equations apply, however, only when the gross stress levels of the pressure vessel are
below the yield strength of the pressure-vessel material and when the stresses are
uniform through the thickness of the vessel wall. When this is the case (as in areas of a
vessel that are under membrane stress), it must be recognized that the accuracy of the
calculated critical flaw size depends directly on how accurately the material's fracture
toughness (Kic) and the applied stress levels are known. When calculating critical flaw

sizesfor theseareasof uniform elasticstress,the valueof Kic selectedfor designand
the maximumpossibleappliedstresslevel (i.e., that correspondingto the minimum
materialgage)shouldbeused.In addition,it is a conservative viewpointto assume that
the flaws are surface(or just subsurface)flaws andthat they arelong in relationto
their depthso that Q _ 1.0.Theresultingpredictedcriticalflaw sizeis thusdescribed
by the singledimension,a (i.e.,the depth).Whenthis depthis largewith respectto the
wall thickness(i.e., greaterthan about half the thickness),the effect of deep-flaw
stress-intensitymagnificationshouldbe accountedfor. The equationshownin figure3
attemptsto do this by the additionof the MK factor.A reasonable estimatefor MK is
the approximateKobayashisolution shownin figure 3. Whilerecentdata (ref. 39)
indicatethat its usecanresultin somewhatconservative answersfor the moreductile
materialsand perhapsslightly unconservative answersfor the brittle materials,it is
recommendedthat the figure 3 curvebe useduntil improvedsolutionsareobtained.
Sincethe equationshownin figure3 is not explicit in termsof the critical flaw size,
variouscritical depths(acr)shouldbeassumed for the longsurfaceflaw, the MK values
determinedfrom the Kobayashicurve,andthe failurestresses calculated.The curveof
u versusacr canthen be plotted.If the acr at the proof-(or operating-)stresslevelis
larger than the wall thickness,the expectedfailuremodefor the vesselat proof- (or
operating-)pressurewould beleakage.However,this canbepredictedwith confidence
only if there are no higherstressedareasin the vesselwherethe critical flaw depth
would be smaller,or if the valuecalculatedfor acr exceedsthe wall thicknessby a

In mostvessels thereareareaswherethe stresses arenot uniform throughthe thickness

of the wall (i.e., at mismatchedweld joints, asymmetricalweld lands,changesof
contour,etc.) andmany timesit is known that at theproof pressurethe total applied
stressesin theselocalareasexceedthe yield strengthof the material.If it isknownthat
the stressesapproachor exceedthe materialyield strength,an estimateof the critical
flaw sizes(for long surfaceflaws)may be madeby test. For thesecases,the critical
flaw-sizedatashouldbe obtainedby testinga seriesof surface-flawed specimens (with
varioussizeflawsl that modelthe actualhardware.It is further recommended that the
flaws be madelong in relation to their depth (i.e., smalla/2c ratios) and that the
specimenwidth beaboutfive timesthe flaw length.

In areasof nonuniformstress(e.g.,combinedbendingplustension)wherethe stresses

arewithin the elasticrange,it is possibleto makereasonablyaccurateestimatesof the
critical flaw sizesby analysis.References6 and 40 presentboth approximateand
numericallyexact stress-intensitysolutionsfor nonuniformstressfields.Also,thereare
often specialsituations(particularly during the failure analysisstudiesor Material
ReviewBoardtype actions)whereit is of interestto predictcritical sizes(or failure
stresses)for flaws of shapes,locations,or orientationsother than thosepreviously

discussed.For example,corner flaws, near-surfaceinternal flaws, coplanar-internal
flaws, and sharp-tailedporosity may all be encountered.Again,for most of these
situations,reasonablyaccurateanalyticalestimatescanbe made(providingthe stress
field is elastic)usingvariousavailablestress-intensity
includedin references 2, 6, 41, and42. Othersarecurrentlybeingdeveloped.

4.4 Initial Flaw Size

The two distinct areas of concern regarding initial flaw sizes are as follows:

1. The determination of either actual or maximum possible initial flaw sizes in

the vessel as initially fabricated, and before and after the proof test.

2. The determination of maximum permissible initial flaw sizes (i.e., the

allowable initial flaw sizes) before the proof test.

Nondestructive inspection (i.e., X-ray, ultrasonic, etc.) is the only means for
determining actual initial flaw sizes before the proof test (Sec. 2), consequently, such
inspections should be used to minimize the possibility of proof-test failure. The extent
of nondestructive inspection should be determined on an individual basis, taking into
consideration the consequences of a proof-test failure, the capabilities of the available
inspection techniques, and the sizes of initial flaws that must be detected (i.e., the
allowable initial flaw sizes).

The successful proof test provides a direct measure of the maximum possible
initial-to-critical stress-intensity ratio to predict the specific maximum possible initial
flaw sizes that may exist in the vessel after the proof test and before the service usage.
(Due to possible flaw growth during the proof test, the initial flaw sizes before and
after the proof test may not be the same). If the proof test is properly designed and
successfully executed, the maximum possible initial flaw sizes after the proof test are
equal to the predicted critical flaw sizes at the proof-stress level. However, since the
proof test itself provides assurance against operational failure, the prevention of such
failure does not require the prediction of allowable initial flaw size.

Allowable initial flaw sizes should be determined for the following specific purposes:

1. Assessing the adequacy of the nondestructive inspection procedures.

2. Assessing the adequacy of the flaw or defect acceptance limits.

3. Assessing the probability of a proof-test failure.

Theserequire that the allowableinitial flaw sizesbe establishedfor all high-stressed
areasof the vessel,includingthe parentmetal,weldments,andheat-affected zones.

The allowable initial flaw sizes should be establishedusing the allowable

initial-to-critical stress-intensity
ratios determinedfrom subcriticalflaw-growthtest
data(Sec.4.5); the measuredKic valuesfor the parentmetal,welds,andheat-affected
zones;experimentalmeasurements of possibleflaw growth that could occur during
proof test;andthe appropriatestress-intensity equationsfor variousflaw-geometryand
boundary-stress conditions.The samestress-intensity equationsusedin predicting
critical flaw sizes(Sec.4.3) shouldbe usedto establishallowableinitial flaw sizes
exceptto substitutethe allowablevalueof Kii for Kic.

4.5 Allowable Stress-Intensity Ratio

The allowable initial-to-critical stress-intensity ratio (i.e., allowable Kii/KIc ratio) is an

important element in the control of fracture of metallic pressure vessels. Consequently,
extreme care should be exercised in selecting the values of this ratio to be used in
establishing the proof-test factor and the allowable initial flaw sizes. The allowable
Kii/Kic ratio to be used in determining the proof-test factor (Secs. 3.2 and 4.1) should
be a statistically meaningful value obtained from an analysis of the subcritical
flaw-growth test data in the various anticipated service environments for the parent
metal, welds, and heat-affected zones. When allowable Kii/Kic ratios are used to
establish allowable initial flaw sizes, the value of Kii/Kic for the specific area of
interest of the vessel should be used. Also, the selected design value of Kic should be

The allowable Kii/Kic ratio should be determined, using statistically meaningful curves
of subcritical flaw growth (i.e., KIi/Kic versus cycle and Kii/Kic versus time) and the
most severe service history anticipated for the vessel (Sec. 4.1).

The flaw-growth curves should take into account possible heat-to-heat variations in the
values of KTH and K Ic and the scatter in these values within a given heat. References
22 and 43 present discussions on the effects of data scatter and heat-to-heat variations.

Complexity of the analysis required to determine allowable Kii/Kic ratios depends

upon the pressure-vessel design and the complexity of the anticipated service history.
A recommended procedure for performing this analysis can best be illustrated by
specific examples for thick- and thin-walled vessels. These examples are presented
in Appendix B.

4.6 Proof Test

Every pressure vessel should be proof tested to a stress level equal to or greater than
the maximum operating stress times ct (a = 1 + allowable Kii/KIc). If the vessel is
proof tested at a temperature other than the operating or service temperature, the
minimum proof-test factor, a. should be determined by equation (2) in Section 2.

In this case, it is important that the values of Kic are known for all areas of the vessel
and that it is known how they vary as a function of temperature. Also, it is important
to know the probable scatter in values of Kic at both the operating and proof-test
temperature. To ensure that the proof-test factor obtained will be adequate, the upper
statistical value of the Kic scatter band at the proof-test temperature and the lower
statistical value at the operating temperature should be used.

The proof test should be conducted with a test fluid that will neither induce general
corrosion pitting nor severe stress-corrosion cracking. The values of KTH for the vessel
materials should be obtained from sustained-stress fracture tests performed in the test
fluid at the proof-test temperature. If the values of KTH are low, either an alternate
fluid should be selected or, if this is not practical, methods of protecting the vessel or
inhibiting the action of the test fluid should be investigated.

Slow flaw growth during pressurization and elapsed time at proof pressure should be
minimized by rapid pressurization rates and short hold times. The pressurization time
should be the minimum possible, consistent with the capabilities of the test equipment.
A maximum hold time of about 15 seconds is considered to be reasonable.

It is extremely important to minimize the time necessary to depressurize from the

proof pressure to a pressure equal to KTH/KIc times the proof pressure. If this cannot
be accomplished in a few seconds because of test-system limitations or the
pressure-vessel design, the potential detrimental effects of the slower depressurization
should be determined by analysis. An illustrative example of a recommended analysis
procedure is shown in re ference 7.

Proof testing of metallic pressure vessels should be limited to a single pressure cycle
unless there are special circumstances indicating the need for additional cycles. Special
circumstances include the following cases:

l. A single proof test cannot be designed to envelop the critical operational

pressure, temperature, and external loading combinations.

The vessel was modified or repaired after the initial proof test and the
modified or repaired areas of the vessel need to be proof tested.

. It is desired to recertify the vessel for additional service usage after it has
been in service for a period of time.

From an economical standpoint, it is desired to test components (e.g.,
bulkheads) of the vessel prior to final assembly.

It has been shown by laboratory experiments on preflawed simulated parts
or specimens that a prior test at a higher temperature is advantageous to
minimuze the risk of failure at the design temperature.

A failure-mode analysis should be performed for each completed pressure-vessel design.

The predicted failure mode (i.e., leakage or complete fracture) should be determined at
the proof and maximum operating conditions.

Analytical and experimental verification that the probable failure mode is leakage
rather than complete fracture should be obtained in cases where assurance of
operational life is not provided by the proof test.

For those pressure vessels which are critical for internal pressure combined with flight
loads, it may not be possible to represent the operational stress levels in the vessel by
internal pressure alone. In such cases, the proof test should include provisions to
apply representative flight loads combined with internal pressure.



Figure A-1 illustrates how the various factors affecting reliability and weight are
interrelated for pressure vessels designed to contain liquid hydrogen. In the upper
portion of the figure, the cyclic lives of two materials are shown as a function of the
inverse of the stress-intensity ratio (Kii/KIc). The cyclic growth of initial defects or
flaws in a vessel is primarily a function of this ratio. Also, it can be shown that the
maximum possible Kii/Kic ratio in a pressure vessel after a successful proof test is
equal to 1 divided by the proof-test factor, a, or Kic/KIi = a. The solid lines are based
on the assumption of rapid pressure cycling where the sustained-stress flaw growth
above KTH is negligible. The dashed lines are based on the assumption that there are
long-duration hold times at maximum pressure; and, consequently, the life is the
number of cycles required for the applied stress intensity to reach KTH.

In the center portion of the figure, constant flaw-size lines are shown as a function of
the proof-test factor and the square of the ratio of the plane-strain fracture toughness,
Kic , and the operational stress level aop. These curves were obtained as follows:

Kic = 1.95 Oproo f (a/Q)crproo f (A-I)


Oproo f = a Oop

max (a/Q)io p = (a/Q)crproo f


Kic = 1.95 a Oop (a/Q)_

(KIc 12 (A-2)
\O--_p/ = 3.8 a z (a/Q) i

With (a/Q) i held as a constant, the equation can be solved and plotted in terms of
(Kic/Oop) 2 vs a.


2.0 i

\ _1 I-*-tmax

_ 5AI-2.5 Sn (ELI) titaniur_ ._

Z 1.6
_ 1.4

_,._ i_ I_.___ I L egii I _

1 min.


2219-T87 aluminum- __P"_ _'

1.0 I i i

1000 500 100 50 10 5

Cycles to fracture

Max allowable initial flaw size*

(critical size at Oproo f)

2.0 I-_--T---_ I /

.-- _ _ ,
"_u 1.6 --" i--,/ _ --k(>_-_(_j

o 1.4 -" -"

0- 1.2



f ,
0.6 0.8

(Kic/Oop) 2


LL 1.5

_S"- _ _, _,/, 2219-T87 aluminum


_r_ ,_. r
2.5 _ 4_/ _,.Co / P s

-5"E-" 3.0 _ (" .,_',,¢_.


•$ 3.5 _" -" "

5AI-2.5 Sn (ELI) titanium
4,0 I ' I

0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2 1.4 1.6

Design temp = 423°F (20.4°K) (KIc/0"op)2

Figure A-1. Interrelated factors affecting the weight and reliability of thick-walled LH2 pressure vessels.


The lower portion of the figure shows the relationship between the design ultimate
factor of safety (F.S.) and (Kic/Oop) 2 for the two materials, obtained from the
following relationship:

KIc_ 2 =lKIc_2 = (F.S.)2 fKIc __2

(Sop) \F.S._
°ult" 1/ t _ult. / (1-3)

Points of equal pressure-vessel weight were computed for the aluminum and titanium,
and connected by dashed lines with the relative weight indicated.

Consider a typical design problem: suppose it were desired to design a high-pressure

helium vessel to be contained within a larger LH2 propellant tank and have a required
minimum life of 500 pressure cycles. From the upper portion of the figure it can be
seen that a successful proof test to 1.95 times the maximum operating pressure would
be required to assure this life using the titanium alloy, and 1.35 times the maximum
operating pressure using the aluminum alloy. It should be noted that the 1.95 factor is
somewhat higher than the conventional proof factor usually specified for high-pressure
gas bottles and the 1.35 factor is lower than that usually specified. Suppose it were
decided to use a conventional ultimate factor of safety of 2.5, commonly used for
high-pressure bottles. From the lower portion of the figure it can be seen that
(Kic/Oop) 2 equals 0.35 for the titanium and 1.25 for the aluminum. Also, it is seen
that the weight of the aluminum vessel will be 1.8/1.25 or 1.44 times the weight of the
titanium vessel. In the center portion of the figure, the flaw sizes that will cause failure
during proof test can be determined. For the titanium vessel this is slightly greater than
0.02 in. (1 in. = 0.0254 m) (i.e., the depth of a long surface flaw) and for the
aluminum vessel it is >> 0.10 in.

It is doubtful if the titanium tank could successfully pass the proof test because of the
difficulty in detecting an initial flaw size as small as the critical flaw size at the proof
stress. On the other hand, this does not appear to be a problem with the aluminum
tank. The use of the conventional factor of safety of 2.5 seems to unduly penalize the
aluminum tank (i.e., causes it to be excessively heavy), and yet it is marginally
adequate for the titanium tank.

If an aluminum tank were designed with an ultimate factor of safety of about 1.75, its
weight would be equal to that of the titanium tank designed with an ultimate factor of

safety of 2.5, and the critical flaw size at the proof-stress level (1.35 times Oop ) would
be about 0.09 in. This flaw is still about four times larger than that for the titanium
vessel and is sufficiently large to create some degree of confidence that all initial flaws,


equal to or greater than this size, will be detected by nondestructive inspection. As a

result, proof-test failures (and the resulting high costs) should not be as probable as
with the titanium vessel.

From the foregoing example it is apparent that using standardized design factors does
not assure optimum (nor in some cases even adequate) designs. To preclude the
possibility of failure of hazardous vessels, high factors of safety have often been
specified. However, to save weight (caused by the high factors of safety) the designer
has been forced to use higher strength (and generally lower toughness) materials. As a
result, the risk of failure has often been increased rather than reduced.

While it can be argued that standardized factors of safety have been adequate for many
past applications, the designer must concern himself not with average behavior, but
with- the exception which can result in failure. During recent years there have been
costly exceptions.

. • . J


B.1 Thick-Walled Pressure Vessel

Suppose it is anticipated that a thick-walled 6AI-4V titanium helium tank will go

through the preflight service history shown in figure B-1. The maximum design
operating stress is Oop and R is the ratio of minimum-to-maximum stress during a
cycle. The following is a tabulation of the preflight history:

200 loading cycles with the maximum stress = 90 percent of Oop and
R = 0.1.

2. 4300 loading cycles with the maximum stress = aop and R -- 0.7.

3. 260 loading cycles with the maximum stress = 95 percent of aop and
R -- 0.4.

4. 60 loading cycles with the maximum stress = Oop and R = 0. 1.

5. A long-duration flight cycle with the maximum stress = Oop.

To design an adequate proof test for this vessel, it is necessary to determine the
maximum allowable Kii/Kic ratio and then to calculate the minimum proof-test factor.

The cyclic life curves for 6A1-4V titanium (STA) are reproduced in figure B-2 for
R -- 0.1 and R -- 0.4, and R = 0.7 from reference 22. The change in Kii/Kic throughout
the life of the titanium tank is graphically illustrated in figure B-2 and determined by
the following procedure.

Because the value of threshold stress intensity for sustained-stress flaw growth is 90
percent of Kic (table I), the allowable value of Kii/Kic at the beginning of the
long-duration flight cycle at Oop is 0.90. This requirement is illustrated by point A in
figure B-2.

The 60 loading cycles at Oop and R -- 0.1 change the Kii/Kic ratio from point A to
point B in figure B-2. Point B is 60 cycles to the right of point A, with the cycles being
measured along the abscissa of the plot of R -- 0.1. Hence, the allowable Kii/Kic ratio
at the beginning of the 60 cycles (point B in figures B-1 and B-2) is 0.84.

Relative applied stress or pressure, (_oo
Allowable stress-intensity ratio, (K i i) max/Kic

o o o o
0 o .-"
0 tn o bn

[:J m,
::1 -_ \S

0 o
r,- _ .oo
¢D t,Dto

D. O_ I I o
g 0

D. /

o_ :/ O

i>-- 0"o o__ m
¢D m, z

o 1_0' -- ,1_,--
(.0 ,_ -_"

-- o_
Q _ =_
m. x "0

3 m.
=_ -r
o 0
c_ O




/'J Q

" _--LI °;

o_- g It /-=,
"0 w oO !t?!._ Oil :
| w I ,

Kii/Kic is proportioned to the stress level (o) because

1.1 x/--Y- o (a/Q) :_ (B-l)

Kii/Kic =

The stress level is 5 percent lower at the end of the 260 cycles than at the beginning of
the 60 cycles, and since the flaw size is the same for both stress levels at that point
(point B in figure B-l), then the allowable value of Kii/Kic at the end of the 260
loading cycles is (0.95/1.00) times 0.84 = 0.798. This Kii/Kic ratio is given by point B
in figure B-2 on the R = 0.4 curve.

The 260 loading cycles with the maximum stress = 0.95 Oop and R = 0.4 change the
Kii/Kic ratio from that given by point B to that given by point C in figure B-2. Point C
is 260 cycles to the right of point B on the plot of R = 0.4. Hence, the allowable
Kii/Kic ratio at the beginning of the 260 cycles (point C in figures B-1 and B-2) is

The stress level is 5 percent higher at the end of the 4300 cycles than at the beginning
of the 260 cycles and, by the same reasoning given above, the allowable value of
Kii/Kic at the end of 4300 cycles is (1/0.95) times 0.74 = 0.78. This Kii/Kic ratio is
given by point C in figure B-2 on the R = 0.7 curve.

The 4300 loading cycles at Oop and R = 0.7 change the Kii/Kic ratio from point C to
point D in figure B-2. Point D is 4300 cycles to the right of point C on the plot of
R = 0.7. Hence, the allowable Kii/Kic ratio at the beginning of the 4300 cycles (point
D in figs. B-1 and B-2) is 0.70.

The stress level is 10 percent lower at the end of the 200 cycles than at the beginning
of the 4300 cycles and therefore the allowable value of Kii/Kic at the end of the 200
cycles is (0.90/1.00) times 0.70 = 0.63. This Kii/Kic ratio is given by point D in figure
B-2 on the R = 0.1 curve.

The 200 loading cycles with the maximum stress at 0.90 Oop and R = 0.1 change the
Kii/Kic ratio from that given by point D to that given by point E in figure B-2. Hence,
the allowable Kii/Kic ratio at the beginning of the 200 cycles (point E in figs. B- 1 and
B-2) is 0.6. The operating stress is 10 percent higher than the stress at the beginning of
the 200 cycles so that the allowable value of Kii/Kic at the operating stress is (1.0/0.9)
times 0.6 = 0.667. This is shown by the asterisk in figure B-2.


Thus, for the pressure vessel subjected to the anticipated service history given, the
maximum allowable Kii/Kic ratio at the end of the proof cycle is 0.667 and the
minimum required proof-test factor is a = 1/0.667 = 1.5. This indirectly imposes a
restriction on the maximum allowable operating stress because the proof stress should
not exceed the yield strength of the material. Hence, the maximum allowable operating
stress is 0.667 times Oy s.

B.2 Thin-Walled Pressure Vessel

Suppose a thin-walled 6A1-4V (STA) titanium propellant tank designed to contain

N204 at room temperature is expected to withstand a preflight service history,
graphically shown in figure B-3, and tabulated as follows:

1. 20 loading cycles with maximum stress = 95 percent of the maximum design

operating stress, aop.

2. 9 loading cycles with maximum stress = aop.

3. 20 loading cycles with maximum stress = 89 percent of aop.

4. A long-duration flight cycle with maximum stress = aop.

In the thin-walled tank, the flaw depth becomes deep with respect to the wall thickness
of the tank before reaching the critical size. Hence, the stress-intensity factor must be
corrected for the a/t ratio according to figure 3. Suppose the thickness of the tank wall
is 0.022 in. (1 in. = 0.0254 m) and the maximum design operating stress, aop is
84.4 ksi (1 ksi = 6.895 MN/m2). Under the specified environmental conditions, the
material of this gage has a minimum fracture toughness of 37 ksi_/in.
(1 ksi x/-_. = 1.099 M_N _-m) and a threshold stress intensity of 80 percent of Kic. The
plot of flaw-growtl] rate versus Kii/Kic for the material is shown in figure B-4 for
o = 105 ksi (1 ksi = 6.895 MN/m2). The effect of the stress level on the growth rate is
indicated by the equation on the plot. Taking this effect into consideration, the curve
is arithmetically integrated, according to the method outlined in reference 8, for three
stress levels. These integrated plots (flaw depth versus cycles to fracture) are shown in
figure B-5. In the calculations, it was assumed that the value of Q is unity (i.e., the
flaws are relatively long with respect to their depth).


1.50op _
Proof cycle

9 cycles at (/ 20 cycles at 0.89

cycles at 0.95 Oop

,I. °_.1. Oopq
A Flight
Crop . ,,,,,,,=,,=,,,=.im_
O. at O



0.50"op -



Figure B-3. History of cyclic stressesof a thin4Nalled vessel.

L) _.m
v 0.8
o" 0.6
I "_0" = 105 ksi (1 ksi = 6.895 MN/m 2)

0.4 I I
"d(a/e)/dN]o- 1 =[d(a/e)/dN]o" = 105 x \ (/1 ]

',_ 0.2
L. 6AI-4V titanium STA forging
.o MN
Kic = 37 ksi_/_. (1 ksiv/_. = 1.099 --

10 100

d(a/Q)/dN,/_ in./cycle

Figure B-4.- Cyclic flaw-growth curve.



Because the threshold stress intensity is 0.80 Kic, the allowable value of Kli/Kic at the
beginning of the long-duration flight cycle is 0.80. This requirement is illustrated by

point A on the curve of aop in figure B-5.

The tank-wall stress increases by 11 percent at the end of 20 loading cycles with the

maximum stress = 0.89 aop; however, the flaw size remains the same during the stress
increase• This is shown by point A on the plot of 0.89 aop in figure B-5.

The 20 loading cycles with the maximum stress = 0.89 Oop changes the flaw depth (a)
from point A to point B on the plot of 0.89 aop in figure B-5. Point B is 20 cycles to
the right of point A with the cycles being measured along the abscissa of the plot.

The stress decreases by 11 percent at the end of 9 cycles with the maximum
stress = Oop. This is shown by point B on the plot of Oop in figure B-5.

0•019 Oop = 84.4 ksi (1 ksi = 6.895 MN/m 2)

Kic = 37.0 ksi _,/_. (1 ksi V%. =

MN 2
1.099 V_ )
0•018 2

d 0.016

. 0.015



1 10 100 1000
Cycles to fracture

Figure B-5. - Determinationof allowable stress-intensity ratio for a thin-walledvessel.


The 9 loading cycles with the maximum stress = Oop changes flaw depth (a) from point
B to point C on the plot of Oop. Point C is 9 cycles to the right of point B.

The tank-wall stress increases by 5 percent at the end of 20 loading cycles with the

maximum stress = 0.95 aop. This is shown by point C on the plot of 0.95 Oop in figure

The 20 loading cycles at 0.95 Oop changes flaw depth (a) from point C to point D on
the plot of 0.95 Oop. Point D is 20 cycles to the right of point C. The value of the flaw
depth at point D is 0.01356 in. (1 in. = 0.0254 m).

The maximum allowable value of Kii/Kic at the end of the proof-test cycle then is
given by

KIi 1.1 M K x/-gg- Oop

37.0 (B-2)

Oop = 84.4 ksi (1 ksi= 6.895 MN/m2), a/t = 0.013561'0.022 = 0.615, and MK from
figure 3 is 1.25.

Hence, the maximum allowable Kii/Kic ratio is 0.647, and the proof factor is
a= 1/0.647 = 1.55.

i ¸¸¸ _ S _



• i I kl ¸ I

Wessel, E. T.; Clark, W. G.; and Wilson, W. K.: Engineering Methods for the
Design and Selection of Materials Against Fracture. U.S. Army Tank and
Automotive Center Report, Contract No. DA-30-069-AMC-602(T), 1966.

Tiffany, C. F.; and Masters, J.N.: Applied Fracture Mechanics. Fracture
Toughness Testing and its Applications. ASTM Spec. Tech. Publication No. 381,
1965, pp. 249-277.

Brown, W. F., Jr.; and Srawley, J. E.: Plane Strain Crack Toughness Testing of
High Strength Metallic Materials. ASTM Spec. Tech. Publication No. 410, 1966.

Irwin, G. R.: Crack Extension Force for a Part-Through Crack in a Plate. Trans.
ASME, J. Appl. Mech., Series E, vol. 29, no. 4, Dec. 1962, pp. 651-654.

Kobayashi, A. S.: On the Magnification Factors of Deep Surface Flaws.
Structural Development Research Memorandum No. 16, The Boeing Co., Dec.

Smith, F. W.: Stress Intensity Factor for a Semi-Elliptical Flaw. Structural
Development Research Memorandum No. 17, The Boeing Co., Aug. 1966.

Tiffany, C. F.; Masters, J. N.; and Bixler, W. D.: Flaw Growth of 6A1-4V
Titanium in a Freon T.F. Environment. NASA CR-99632, 1969.

Tiffany, C. F.; Masters, J. N.; and Pall, F. A.: Some Fracture Considerations in
the Design and Analysis of Spacecraft Pressure Vessels. Paper presented at the
ASM National Metals Congress (Chicago), Oct. 1966.

Anon.: ASTM Recommended Practice for Plane-Strain Fracture Toughness
Testing of High Strength Metallic Materials Using a Fatigue Cracked Bend
Specimen. ASTM Standards, Part 31, May 1969, pp. 1099-1114.

10. Tiffany, C. F.: Investigation of Preflawed 2219 Aluminum Tanks. Rept.

D5-13663, The Boeing Co., Aug. 1966.

11. Hall, L. R.; and Tiffany, C. F.: Fracture and Flaw Growth Investigation for
2014-T6 Aluminum Weldments Used in Saturn II LH2 Tanks. Rept. D5-15737,
The Boeing Co., Nov. 1967.

12. Smith, A. B.: MissileMotor Cases.MetalsEngineeringQuarterly,vol. 3, no. 4,
Nov. 1963,pp.55-63.

13. Johnson,H. A.; et al.: LargeMotor CaseEvaluation.Annual ProgressReport,

Vol. II, USAFContractAF33(615)-1623,June1965.

14. Srawley,J. E.; and Esgar,J. B.: Investigationof HydrotestFailureof Thiokol

ChemicalCorporation260-inchDiameterSL-1 Motor Case.NASA TM X-1194,

15. ASTM Special Committee on Fracture Testing of High-StrengthMetallic

Materials:Progressin the Measurementof Fracture Toughnessand the
Application of FractureMechanicsto EngineeringProblems.MaterialsResearch
andStandards, vol. 4, no. 3, Mar.1964,pp. 107-119.

16. Shah, R. C.: Fracture MechanicsAssessmentof Apollo Launch Vehicle &

SpacecraftPressureVessels.Vol. 1. Rept. D2-114248-1,The BoeingCo., Nov.

17. Shank,M. E.; Spaeth,C. E.; Cook,V. W.;andCoyne,J. E.: Solid Fuel Rocket
Chambersfor Operationat 240,000psiandAbove.MetalProgress, vol. 76,no. 5,
Nov. 1959,pp. 74-81(part I), andvol. 76, no. 6, Dec.1959,pp. 84-92(part II).

18. Tiffany, C.F.; andLorenz,P.M.: An Investigationof Low-CycleFatigueFailures

Using Applied Fracture Mechanics.Rept. ML-TDR-64-53,Battelle Memorial
Institute,May 1964.

19. Tiffany, C. F.; Lorenz,P. M.; andHall, L. R.: Investigationof PlaneStrainFlaw

Growthin Thick-WalledTanks.NASACR-54837,1966.

20. Tiffany, C. F.; Lorenz,P. M.; andShah,R. C.: ExtendedLoadingof Cryogenic


21. Tiffany, C. F.; and Masters, J. N.: Investigation of the Flaw Growth
Characteristicsof 6A1-4VTitanium Usedin Apollo SpacecraftPressure

22. Masters,J. N.: CyclicandSustainedLoadFlawGrowthCharacteristics

of 6A1-4V

23. Hall. L. R.: PlainStrainCyclicFlawGrowthin 2014-T62Aluminumand6A1-4V

(ELI) Titanium.NASACR-72396,1968.

24. Johnson,H. H.; andParis,P. C.: SubcriticalFlaw Growth.Engineering
vol. 1.no. 1,June1968,pp. 3-45.

25. Peterson,M. H.; Brown, B. F.; Newbegin,R. L.; and Grover, R. E.: Stress
CorrosionCracking of High StrengthSteel and Titanium Alloys in Chloride
Solutionsat Ambient Temperature.Corrosion,vol. 23, no. 5, May 1969. pp.

26. Brown, B. F.: A New Stress Corrosion Cracking Test Procedure for High Strength
Alloys. Paper presented at the ASTM Arsenal Meeting at Purdue University
(Lafayette, Ind.), June 13-18, 1965.

27. Piper, D. E.; Smith, S. H.; and Carter, R. V.: Corrosion Fatigue and Stress
Corrosion Cracking in Aqueous Environments. Met als Engineering Quarterly, vol.
8, Aug. 1968, pp. 50-63.

28. Smith, H. R.; Piper, D. E.; and Downey, F. K.: A Study of Stress Corrosion
Cracking by Wedge Force Loading. Engineering Fracture Mechanics, vol. 1, no. 1,
June 1968, pp. 123-128.

29. Johnson, H. H.; and Willner, A. M.: Moisture and Stable Crack Growth in a High
Strength Steel. Applied Materials Research, vol. 4, no. 1, Jan. 1965, pp. 34-40.

30. Steigerwald, E. A.; and Benjamin, W. D.: Stress Corrosion Cracking Mechanisms
in Martinistic High Strength Steels. Third Quarterly Progress Report, Contract AF
33(615)-3651, Air Force Materials Laboratory, 1967.

31. Irwin, C. R.: Moisture Assisted Slow Crack Extension in Glass Plate.
Memorandum Report 1678, Naval Research Laboratory, 1966.

32. Koetje, E. L.: Report on Failure of T. E. Actuator. Rept. D2-16676-1, The

Boeing Co., July 1965.

33. Tiffany, C. F.; Masters, J. N.; and Regan, R. E.: Large Motor Case Technology
Evaluation. Rept. AFML-TR-67-190, Air Force Materials Laboratory, Aug. 1967.

34. Lorenz, P. M.: Fracture Toughness and Sustained Flaw Growth Characteristics of
Inconel 718 in the Environment of Pressurized Gaseous Hydrogen. Rept.
D2-114404-1, The Boeing Co., Oct. 1968.

35. Beachem, C. D.; and Brown, B. F.: A Comparison of Three Specimens for
Evaluating the Susceptibility of High Strength Steel to Stress Corrosion Cracking.
Internal Report, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, 1967.

36. Haese,W. P." Investigationof Fracture of 6AI-4V Titanium in N204. Rept.
D2-24057-1, The Boeing Co., Dec. 1965.

37. Wei, R. P.: Some Aspects of Environment-Enhanced Fatigue Crack Growth.

Paper presented at ASTM Fall Meeting (Atlanta, Ga.), Oct. 3, 1968.

38. Barsom, J. M.: Corrosion-Fatigue Crack Propagation Below KISCC. Paper

presented at the National Symposium on Fracture Mechanics at Lehigh University
(Bethlehem, Pa.), Aug. 26, 1969.

39. Masters, J. N.; Haese, W. P.; and Finger, R. W.: Investigation of Deep Flaws in
Thin Walled Tanks. NASA CR-72606, 1969.

40. Shah, R. C.; and Kobayashi, A. S.: Stress Intensity Factor for an Elliptical Crack
Under Arbitrary Normal Loading. Paper presented at the Second National
Symposium on Fracture Mechanics at Lehigh University (Bethlehem, Pa.), June
17-19, 1968.

41. Kobayashi, A. S.; Ziv, M.; and Hall, L. R.: Approximate Stress Intensity Factor
for an Embedded Elliptical Crack Near Two Parallel Free Surfaces. Int. J. of
Fracture Mechanics, vol. 1, no. 2, June 1965, pp. 81-95.

42. Shah, R. C.; and Kobayashi, A. S.: On the Parabolic Crack in an Elastic Solid.
Engr. Fracture Mech., vol. 1, no. 2, Aug. 1968, pp. 309-325.

43. Lorenz, P. M.: Compatibility of Tankage Materials with Liquid Propellants. Rept.
AFML-TR-69-99, Air Force Materials Laboratory, May 1969.


. • . , • .:v

semiminor axis of the ellipse x 2/c 2 + y2/a z = 1 or crack depth of the

semielliptical surface flaw, in. (1 in. = 0.0254 m)

2c crack length of the semielliptical surface flaw, in.

KI plane-strain stress-intensity factor, ksi x/T_. (1 ksi x/Tn.. = 1.099 _ x/_)

KIc plane-strain critical stress-intensity factor or fracture toughness of the

material, ksi vq-ff.

Kii plane-strain stress-intensity factor at initial conditions, ksi x/Tff7

KTH plane-strain threshold stress-intensity level, ksi x/]_.

MK stress-intensity magnification factor for deep surface flaws based on

Kobayashi's solution

N number of cycles

Q flaw-shape parameter = 9 .2 0.212 (O/Oys)2

R ratio of minimum to maximum stress during a cycle

T time, hr

t thickness of plate (specimen), in.

a proof-test factor
0 angle of integration

O uniform gross stress applied at infinity and perpendicular to plane of crack,

ksi (1 ksi = 6.895 MN/m 2)

°op maximum design operating stress, ksi

°ult ultimate strength of the material, ksi

°ys uniaxial tensile yield strength of the material, ksi

complete elliptical integral of the second kind having modulus k defined as

k = (1 a 2 ./c2 ) 5


cr at critical conditions

i at initial condition

op operational


- . , '. .

SP-8001 (Structures) Buffeting During Launch and Exit, May 1964

SP-8002 (Structures) Flight-Loads Measurements During Launch and
Exit, December 1964
SP-8003 (Structures) Flutter, Buzz, and Divergence, July 1964
SP-8004 (Structures) Panel Flutter, May 1965
SP-8005 (Environment) Solar Electromagnetic Radiation, June 1965
SP-8006 (Structures) Local Steady Aerodynamic Loads During Launch
and Exit, May 1965
SP-8007 (Structures) B uckling of Thin-Walled Circular Cylinders,
September 1965
Revised August 1968
SP-8008 (Structures) Prelaunch Ground Wind Loads, November 1965
SP-8009 (Structures) Propellant Slosh Loads, August 1968
SP-8010 (Environment) Models of Mars Atmosphere (1967), May 1968
SP-8011 (Environment) Models of Venus Atmosphere (1968), December
SP-8012 (Structures) Natural Vibration Modal Analysis, September 1968
SP-8013 (Environment) Meteoroid Environment Model 1969 [Near
Earth to Lunar Surface], March 1969
SP-8014 (Structures) Entry Thermal Protection, August 1968
SP-8015 (Guidance Guidance and Navigation for Entry Vehicles,
and Control) November 1968
SP-8016 (Guidance Effects of Structural Flexibility on Spacecraft
and Control) Control Systems, April 1969
SP-8017 (Environment) Magnetic Fields Earth and Extraterrestrial,
March 1969
SP-8018 (Guidance Spacecraft Magnetic Torques, March 1969
and Control)
SP-8019 (Structures) Buckling of Thin-Walled Truncated Cones,
September 1968
S_8020 (Environment) Mars Surface Models [!968], May 1969
SP-8021 (Environment) Models of Earth's Atmosphere (120 to 1000 kin),
May 1969
SP-8023 (Environment) Lunar Surface Models, May 1969
SP-8024 (Guidance Spacecraft Gravitational Torques, May 1969
and Control)
SP-8025 (Chemical Solid Rocket Motor Metal Cases, April 1970

SP-8026 (Guidance SpacecraftStarTrackers,July 1970
SP-8027 (Guidance SpacecraftRadiationTorques,October1969
SP-8028 (Guidance Entry VehicleControl,November1969
SP-8029 (Structures) AerodynamicandRocket-Exhaust HeatingDuring
LaunchandAscent,May 1969
SP-8031 (Structures) SloshSuppression,
May 1969
SP-8032 (Structures) Buckling of Thin-WalledDoubly Curved Shells,
SP-8033 (Guidance SpacecraftEarthHorizon Sensors,
SP-8034 (Guidance Spacecraft
SP-8035 (Structures) Wind Loads During Ascent, June 1970
SP-8036 (Guidance Effects of Structural Flexibility on Launch Vehicle
andControl) Control Systems, February 1970
SP-8046 (Structures) Landing Impact Attenuation for Nonsurface-Planing
Landers, April 1970

58 NASA-Langley, 1970 32
r •